As part of the ongoing leadership purge at the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna submitted his resignation on Friday at the request of President Donald Trump.
Cissna announced his
resignation in an email to staff, acknowledging that Trump had asked him to
Former Virginia Attorney
General Ken Cuccinelli is now set to take over as director of the agency, which
“At the request of
the President, I submitted my resignation today effective June 1, 2019,” Cissna
in the email, as reported by BuzzFeed News. “During the past 20 months,
every day, I have passionately worked to carry out USCIS’ mission to faithfully
administer the nation’s lawful immigration system. We are the agency charged
with safeguarding its integrity and promise.”
Cissna’s idea of
safeguarding the agency’s integrity was a little different than that of his
predecessors. Among his actions as director was an effort to shut
down the agency’s international division, including closing 21 overseas
offices. And last year, Cissna spearheaded an initiative that seeks to denaturalize
Americans suspected of cheating to obtain citizenship. To carry that effort
out, Cissna hired
“several dozen” lawyers and immigration officers to review cases, the
Associated Press reported last year.
reportedly was pushed by White
House adviser Stephen Miller over the objections of Republican lawmakers.
It is part of a shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security that already has
seen former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen
Nielsen and former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director
The new guy, Cuccinelli,
is even more awful than his predecessor. Despite previously being a “Never-Trumper,”
Cuccinelli’s views on immigration and other issues are in step with Trump’s. He
has compared U.S. immigration policy to exterminating
rats. He called the Affordable Care Act a “national
embarrassment.” And he has downplayed
the factors that cause climate change.
This week, Media
Matters for America reported on comments Cuccinelli made in 2018 to
Breitbart.com’s radio show, suggesting that states could start
a war with migrant caravans under established war powers. He said the U.S.
has been “invaded for a long time and so the border states clearly
qualify here to utilize this power themselves.”
“When someone comes
across your border without your permission, it’s an invasion. Their purpose
here is to violate the border, to violate our sovereignty, for their own
purposes. That’s an invasion,” he said, Media Matters noted.
states should “line their National Guard up” to turn back migrants at the border.
“You just point them back across the river and let them swim for it,” he said.