León Rodríguez, the new head of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recalled how he was put on the “wait list” and eventually denied admission to Georgetown Law School, where he spoke Tuesday.
He tried to persuade the school’s officials to let him in and was told he was lucky to be on a wait list. The story is a metaphor for immigration policy, he said.
“What we do in immigration policy is decide who we want to admit to the U.S. and who we don’t,” he said.
Now Rodríguez is heading Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“Looking back Georgetown, would you have admitted me? Would you have had different policies?” he said to chuckles from an audience attending an immigration law and policy conference.
Rodríguez’s agency will be front and center once President Barack Obama announces the executive action he’ll take on immigration. Obama said he would take executive action after the elections but before the end of the year.
“We’re going to be ready,” Rodríguez said. “Our agency will be shouldering the primary responsibility for executing whatever it is.”
Rodríguez declined to elaborate when he was asked by a reporter to give more details on what types of preparations he is making.