Trump Immigration Head Embarrasses GOP During ‘CBS Sunday’ Appearance


The harsh attitude of the Trump administration towards immigrants is well-documented at this point. They’ve just scored another recent “victory” in their campaigns via the U.S. Supreme Court letting their plan proceed to deny asylum to the vast majority of people arriving at the country’s southern border, no questions asked. This weekend on CBS’s Face The Nation, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli defended this move, arguing that it’s necessary for things like cracking down on a supposed overabundance of false asylum claims. They’re singling out people of color trying to live their lives in safety as supposedly worthy of extra scrutiny again.

Cuccinelli went so far down that path this weekend that he dismissed concern about the United States’s response to Hurricane Dorian’s recent utter devastation in The Bahamas, insisting flippantly that the ravaged country is “a perfectly legitimate country capable of taking care of their own.” There’d been reports of refugees trying to leave an utterly flattened island getting turned back because they didn’t have a visa (where would they get one???), but the Trump administration has blamed the boat company for that.

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Asked if incoming asylum policy changes including blocks on people who’ve passed through any other country before getting to the U.S. border would essentially send a message that the U.S. is closed, Cuccinelli insisted:

‘It will be a deterrent for some people, particularly those who are going to be coming and claiming what are clearly false asylum claims. And remember — asylum is about safety, we do want people to be safe. And the reality is, America is the most generous country in the world on this front. But we have to deal with the crisis we’re facing down there. This will be a deterrent to some coming who are making particularly false claims.’

You want people to be safe??? Is that why you’ve kept them in dangerous conditions without access to items as basic as a shower for at times weeks on end??? There have been a steady stream of ghastly reports about the conditions that detained asylum seekers have been subjected to.

Cuccinelli has made a name for himself through means like claiming the famous poem at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty inviting “poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free” should be understood as referring mainly to European immigrants, so this belligerence and utter disregard for the basic facts of the way his administration has treated detained asylum seekers shouldn’t come as a surprise.

He claimed this weekend that the Supreme Court ruling allowing their new restrictions on asylum to be enforced while litigation over the move plays out will be put into practice in “days, not weeks.” He pointed to a massive backlog of asylum claims he hopes the agencies can get to in the wake of slowing down the stream of new ones, which he insisted was full of fraud and not just people whose dangerous living conditions the officials of the Trump administration didn’t want to recognize.

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