Donald Trump brought the conservative immigration attorney and then-Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach into the White House. Kobach’s job was to find all of the three million people the president believed had sneaked into California illegally and then voted for Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, Kobach could not find the imaginary voters who lived in only POTUS’s mind. Although Trump considered the man for a new position, he decided to go with someone worse.
Kobach made a mortal mistake with his outrageous list of job requirements. He wanted a government jet waiting for him 24 hours a day. Kobach did not want to work weekends, so he could return to his family in Kansas. He also wanted to report directly to the president and have the job to be a secretary-level position.
Instead, Trump went with former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli for the position of top coordinator of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration policy. managing 19,000 employees. The former mayor has been a “longtime border hawk” and has spoken about militarizing the U.S.’s border with Mexico. His new title was listed as acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. His agency coordinates the entire immigration and naturalization system.
It should be interesting to see how Cuccinelli interfaces with the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan. The latter replaced then-secretary of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Top ICE attorney for the Obama White House Peter Vincent said that Cuccinelli could help the administration coordinate the different views among the president’s aides:
‘(The White House) has finally belatedly brought in an individual in Mr. Cuccinelli who can herd these cats and effectuate the president’s vision and policy goals as it relates to border security and immigration.’
Former press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security earlier in the Trump White House noted, The Daily Beast Reported:
‘What does that person take off the plate of the acting homeland security secretary? If the metric of success is lowering the number of migrants at the southwest border, how can this position have any effect on that? It all goes back to, “What’s his role?”‘
McAleenan has a history of being a tough career law enforcement man. Both the Republicans and the Democrats respect him. He previously worked a the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
Director of the Domestic Policy Council for President Barack Obama Cecilia Munoz relayed that Cuccinelli supported refusing citizenship to American-born babies of undocumented parents. He also proposed firing workers who did not speak English while working. She continued, according to The New York Times:
‘It’s hard to put into words. The president is trying to send an ever tougher message, but ultimately these things are symbols just in the same way the wall is a symbol. Even if you are desperate to show how tough you are, you’re not likely to produce a policy that addresses the problems at the border or the interior.’
Cuccinelli sent an email to his staff, the Daily Beast reported:
‘We must work hand in hand with our colleagues within DHS, along with our other federal partners, to address challenges to our legal immigration system and enforce existing immigration law. Together we will continue to work to stem the crisis at our southwest border.’
Cuccinelli filed a brief supporting an Arizona law. It let police check the immigration status of anyone who was detained or arrested by police officers. Members of the law enforcement had to have “a reasonable suspicion” that the person was here illegally.
Cuccinelli wrote a legal opinion on Arizona’s law:
‘Virginia law enforcement officers have the authority to make the same inquiries as those contemplated by the new Arizona law. “So long as the officers have the requisite level of suspicion to believe that a violation of the law has occurred, the officers may detain and briefly question a person they suspect has committed a federal crime.’
When he was attorney general of Virginia, Cuccinelli tried to keep laws against oral sex enforced. That brought him into the political limelight.