Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Immigration Article of the Day: “Not a One-Person Show”: Trump as Administrator-in-Chief of the Immigration Bureaucracy by Ming H. Chen
“Not a One-Person Show”: Trump as Administrator-in-Chief of the Immigration Bureaucracy by Ming H. Chen, Notice & Comment (Yale Journal on Regulation) (2017)
Recent events paint a portrait of what President Trump is like as a boss. It is not flattering. The Ninth Circuit’s pronouncement that “Immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show” in its latest rejection of the travel ban reveals his autocratic style. President Trump’s contradictory defenses of the travel ban while litigation proceeds shows his disregard for law and agency expertise. This style of leading the executive branch raises legal as well as prudential concerns.
In Administrator-In-Chief, 69 Admin. L. Rev. 347 (2017), I set forth a framework for understanding the role of the president as chief administrator for the executive branch. The article drew upon Obama Administration executive actions pertaining to immigration: USCIS’ implementation of deferred action as agenda-setting in immigration enforcement, ICE’s prioritization of serious criminal offenses in the issuance of immigration detainers as rationalized agency discretion, and the DOJ’s use of priority docketing in immigration courts to deter Central American asylum-seekers as a failure of coordination with DHS. Drawing on interviews with DHS officials and other policymakers, the article argued that shoring up procedural legitimacy strengthens the President’s basis for intervening in administrative policy.