Reacting publicly for the first time, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is criticizing the timing of President Barack Obama's new immigration policy announcement. Gonzalez, the first Latino attorney general, calls the policy move both "political" and "well short of what we need as a country."
The policy shift, announced yesterday, will allow some children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States if they meet certain requirements.
Gonzales, who is an outspoken advocate of immigration reform, said he has a problem with the move both substantively and procedurally. Substantively, he says it fails to deal with securing the border, visa over-stayers, enforcing tougher work place enforcement, and the millions of adults that came into the country illegally as adults.
Procedurally, Gonzales says it's bad timing because it's being done during what he calls "political silly season". "Rightly or wrongly, it is viewed as political, given the fact that we're in a election season, and this is something that he could have done, certainly, well before now," he said.
Gonzales is empathetic to illegal children who have grown up in the United State and argues, there are things that should be done in conjunction to reassure everyone that not only are we a compassionate nation in taking care of these kids, but we're a nation of laws, and that we enforce our laws.
But, like many critics, Gonzales insists the President's fix is temporary and will prevent much needed comprehensive reform from being passed through Congress. He feels the way the President has gone about immigration reform subjects him to criticism as the executor in chief, "because by selectively failing to enforce the law faithfully he's not doing his job making sure all laws are faithfully executed."
You can watch the entire interview with Gonzales here.