Susan Rice think-tank axed over immigration policy

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Omicron was a Washington think-tank founded by Susan Rice that had been in existence since 2010

An influential think-tank founded by former national security advisor Susan Rice, the National Security Network, has been banned by the US administration.

But why? According to the Associated Press, Ms Rice’s organisation had put forth recommendations for how to change US visa policy.

The recommendation included classifying green card holders in the same category as spouses of US citizens.

It came in response to the case of Hameed Khalid Darweesh, a green card holder from Iraq who was detained at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Susan Rice, pictured here at a State Department event, is a former national security advisor to Barack Obama

In a statement after her detention, Ms Rice said the detention was “unacceptable” and that the government had taken “unlawful action to indefinitely detain Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Mr Kermani”.

Darweesh and Kermani are two of the 42 immigrants detained in New York this month.

The National Security Network provided legal support for Mr Darweesh, and the New York Civil Liberties Union eventually acted on his behalf.

What has happened to the National Security Network?

The organisation has now stopped functioning but has announced that it will continue to maintain an online presence.

It provided experts to attend meetings with US officials and offer recommendations for reform of visa policy, according to AP.

The Department of Homeland Security refused to comment on the shuttering of the group, but the agency said it had a “policy of not disclosing current security-related investigations”.

Who is Susan Rice?

An African-American woman born in Iowa, Ms Rice served as a state department and national security aide to Barack Obama for seven years.

She was the principal deputy national security adviser for four years before becoming his chief of staff.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, called the incident “deeply troubling”

President Trump sought to influence her choices for his foreign policy team by calling her a “home-grown radical”, according to Time magazine.

However, she took on a bigger role in his administration as he considered nominating her as secretary of state, only to decide against it after she met with the Russian ambassador.

Ms Rice, who knew Mr Trump from the 1990s, was also secretary of the vice-president’s task force for global women’s issues.

What is the opinion of the Obama administration about it?

Not that long ago, Susan Rice was the darling of the Democratic party after being named the White House’s point person on international policy.

As UN ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term, she waged an aggressive Twitter campaign, leading US officials’ suspension of the country’s military mission in Syria.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Obama eventually put her in charge of a new White House unit on finding practical solutions to problems in countries around the world

Her closing Tweet on her State Department website described her as the “Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy and the manager of the much-hyped @[email protected] team”.

After meeting with current White House chief of staff John Kelly on Tuesday, she was said to have objected to the White House crackdown on asylum seekers and the detention of the 42 immigrants.

“We wish her the best and hope she’ll have an opportunity to continue to make the world a better and safer place,” according to her spokesman.

What is the White House’s stance?

Mr Trump appears to have changed his position on the organisation, during an Oval Office interview on Tuesday with Bloomberg news.

“I will let you know as soon as I decide. We do not want people coming into our country illegally. We have to have strong border controls. We have to have the strongest border controls,” he said.

“I don’t want illegal immigrants.”

Leave a Comment