The White House is considering nominating Julie Kirchner, a former executive director of the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform, to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Politico reported on Wednesday.
Kirchner would replace Francis Cissna, who’s expected to be ousted by the end of the week, the site reported, citing a White House official and three people briefed on her possible nomination. Cissna would be the latest in Trump and adviser Stephen Miller’s ongoing purge of top-ranking immigration who don’t mirror their exact enthusiasm for using tear gas on migrants and tearing children from their parents.
In that sense, Kirchner seems to fit the bill. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR, lol) advocates for less legal immigration (as well as, of course, undocumented immigration), which is, ya know, exactly what Miller dreams about.
The Southern Poverty Law Center first labeled FAIR, which was founded by a white nationalist who believed immigration would lead to race wars, as a hate group in in 2008 after they lobbied for anti-immigrant laws. Kirchner served as FAIR’s executive director from 2007-2015, while founder John Tanton remained on the board until a 2011 New York Times article exhumed his even more racist views. He was moved to an advisory board, where he remains today.
Here’s what the SPLC had to say about Kirchner from her time specifically as FAIR’s deputy director of government relations, from a story published in 2017 when she first joined the Trump administration:
In 2006, she wrote a piece for FAIR’s newsletter lamenting the large pro-immigration marches that took place in March of that year, writing, “The sight of millions of illegal immigrants and U.S.-born citizen children marching under Mexican flags and asserting their identities as something other than American is very troubling and should be seen as a wake-up call to the political leadership of this country. The United States could well face a situation similar to what has been taking place in France and other parts of Europe, where the children of the last generation of immigrants not only do not identify with the societies in which they live, but are openly hostile to them.”
In 2015, Kirchner left FAIR to join Trump’s campaign as an adviser on immigration. In April 2017, she served as an advisor to then-acting Customs and Border Protection Director Kevin McAleenan (who is now acting Homeland Security secretary after Kirstjen Nielsen resigned). Less than a month later, Kirchner became the USCIS ombudsman, where she continues to serve today.
If confirmed, Kirchner would be in charge of the agency that adjudicates applications for asylum, green cards, citizenship, and renewals for protective programs like DACA and TPS. So, wow, very excited to see how Kirchner might go about making the immigration system even more painful for immigrants than it already is.