Effects from rush to implement executive order on immigration a ‘predictable’ outcome

donald trumpVirginia Tech experts in presidential transitions say the speed with which President Trump’s administration implemented his executive order on immigration represents the “predictable conflict between doing it quickly and doing it well.”

“This is symptomatic of what can happen when a new administration places a premium on quick and visible action before necessarily understanding the full complexity of executing an order through a vast, overlapping set of agencies,” said Karen Hult, the chair of the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “It looks from the outside like a transition concern — for example, rejection or neglect of information or advice from the Obama folks — and internal jockeying for position in the White House office among new members of the Cabinet, and in the agencies.”

Charles Walcott, professor emeritus of political science, said it’s generally accepted that a presidential administration has its best opportunities for policy change at its outset.

“However, this is also the time when it is likely to be at its least competent — a predictable conflict between doing it quickly and doing it well. People are just settling into their positions, some hardly know each other, and confusion over who is responsible and who needs to be involved is commonplace,” he said.

“On top of that, the agencies — such as the Department of Homeland Security — are still full of people who were there prior to President Trump and likely aren’t fully trusted by Trump’s White House staff. The latter apparently feared interference with their plans, and so acted both quickly and covertly.”

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