The Associated Press reports:
President Donald Trump asked the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to resign, leaving yet another vacancy within the Department of Homeland Security. Lee Francis Cissna told staff on Friday that his last day would be June 1.
Cissna leads the agency responsible for legal immigration, including benefits and visas. Cissna’s position, like others, requires Senate confirmation.
Cissna had been on the chopping block last month amid a White House-orchestrated bloodbath that led to the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in part because aides felt he wasn’t moving quickly enough to tighten immigration rules and push through complicated regulation changes.
Cissna will be replaced by former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli [photo], according to a person familiar with the situation. Rumors of Cuccinelli’s selection to a top immigration post raised eyebrows earlier this week.
Cuccinelli led the charge among the Republican National Convention to back Sen. Ted Cruz’s nomination in 2016. But members of Trump’s inner circle told POLITICO earlier this week that the president had gotten over their bitter past and has come to admire Cuccinelli.
Splinter News reports:
Cuccinelli, who has compared U.S. immigration policy to rat infestations and proposed policy against birthright citizenship as a state senator, suggested in October that border states combat incoming migrant caravans from Central America by using “war powers” against the “invasion.”
Mind you, the people coming from Central America via the caravan were fleeing violence and persecution. Cuccinelli shared these comments on a Breitbart radio show (of course) on October 23.
The Advocate reports:
Cuccinelli’s anti-LGBTQ record is extensive. As attorney general of Virginia, a post he held from 2010 to 2014, he defended the state’s anti-sodomy law, even though all such laws had been invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling.
Among Cuccinelli’s homophobic statements: “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.” And: “You can’t have safe homosexual sex. There is no such thing.” He has also said “homosexual acts” are “intrinsically wrong” and against “natural law.”
The New York Times reports:
People close to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who has been a target of Mr. Cuccinelli’s in the past, said that the former attorney general’s chances of being confirmed were close to zero, creating immediate questions about the next steps in the process. Mr. Cuccinelli in 2014 was part of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that supported a primary challenge to Mr. McConnell.
Longtime JMG reader will recall that as Virginia Attorney General, Cuccinelli battled every advance in LGBT rights, even declaring that Virginia law superseded the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling.