The Man With a Plan: Kevin Cuccinelli Has Implemented Several Key Rules Since Becoming Head of USCIS in Mere Weeks to Battle Illegal Immigration, Protect Americans

  • Since taking the helm as the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a few weeks ago, Ken Cuccinelli has hit the ground running by implementing expansive changes throughout the country’s immigration system, which has left some angry as the Trump administration continues its tough stance on immigration.
  • USCIS is an agency that largely deals with “green card applications and citizenship requests for aspiring Americans.”
  • This week, Cuccinelli visited the “southwest border and met with officials from his agency, ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”
  • Last week, the USCIS announced “the rollout of the public charge rule, giving officials updated guidance as to when they should deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on government welfare.”
  • Though the rule had been floated for the past couple of years, Cuccinelli enacted it within weeks of stepping into his role.
  • According to reports, “while the concept of denying residency or admittance to those likely to be a public charge isn’t new and goes back to the 1800s, the rule defines public charge as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.”
  • These benefits include “most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.”
  • On Wednesday, Cuccinelli said: “First of all, I see USCIS as a vetting agency, not a benefits agency. We have benefits that we give when people meet legal thresholds but it’s on them to prove they’ve done it and it’s our job to make sure those are going to people who have in fact met those thresholds, and we’re protecting America by screening people trying to come in and stay here a long time.”
  • However, “the rule sparked fierce criticism from Democrats and immigration-rights activists who claimed it would have a chilling effect on immigrants who need benefits.”
  • Following the announcement of “public charge,” “USCIS on Monday issued new policy guidance that tightened rules for awarding discretionary work permits to immigrants who have been allowed into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons or other extraordinary circumstances.”
  • The agency released a statement: “USCIS has determined that it is necessary to issue this guidance at this time because there is a national emergency at the U.S. southern border where foreign nationals are entering the U.S. illegally.”

Reference Links

  • Fox: Cuccinelli puts hardline stamp on immigration agenda, just 2 months into USCIS job READ
  • Breitbart: Ken Cuccinelli: Detaining Immigrant Families Longer to Act as Deterrent to Solve Overcrowding READ
  • Daily Caller: Cuccinelli Blames Paul Ryan For Stalling Immigration Action READ
  • The Hill: USCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction READ

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