Dumb and Dumber: John Sandweg Speaks

By Dan Cadman on April 10, 2019

Here's some irony: John Sandweg, a former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Obama administration, said during a CNN interview that the Trump administration's idea of eliminating immigration judges is the "single dumbest idea I've ever heard".

To put this into perspective, Sandweg was a shooting star whose tenure lasted less than six months as the head of ICE, and proved himself too clueless for even the Obama administration, which was notoriously anti-enforcement. (See here and here.) Of course, CNN isn't going to give you that perspective on Sandweg since they're using him to say the things they want said but can't say themselves as a "neutral, balanced" media outlet. So better to give him a veneer of credibility as "Ex-ICE Head".

Sandweg once said publicly: "If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero," which was almost certainly close to literal truth, but not something that the Obama White House wanted people to hear publicly — especially not from the head of the second largest enforcement organization in the federal government, one whose mission is to find and remove illegal aliens in the United States.

Sandweg might have lasted longer if knew anything about either the business of immigration or, more specifically, the history of how immigration judges evolved. They were once simply "special inquiry officers" — senior immigration officers who looked over, and passed judgment on, the proposals of other immigration officers to exclude or deport aliens, to ensure that their decisions were adequate and in accordance with law.