By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Sept. 6, 2019: Ken Cuccinelli, Jr., has only been in the post of acting director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS) since June 2019, but already, the number of extreme policy changes coming out of the agency reflects the venom this great-grandson of immigrants feels towards the new immigrants in these United States.

Unfortunately for these mostly black and brown immigrants now, they are not like Cuccinelli’s White descendants who came here with nothing. And sadly, for them as well, he now gets a national platform to implement the xenophobic policies he’s always embraced as attorney general in Virginia.

Most of all, he like Stephen Miller and the other immigration hardliners in this administration, get to please their boss, The Don, who’s long held racist and anti-immigrant utterances and beliefs, can now become reality.

The attorney in Cuccinelli alas now gets to twist the laws on the book to make the case for why there is no illegality in what the administration is doing, as he delivers kick after kick to poor, frightened and now ill immigrants.

After all, he has done in before. Here’s a man, who as AG in July 2010, joined eight other red states in filing an amicus brief opposing the federal government’s lawsuit challenging the draconian and racist Arizona immigration law, SB1070. You will remember this rule was best known for mandating that police officers verify the immigration status of people they stop or arrest if there is “reasonable suspicion” the person was in the US “illegally.”

Then in August 2010, Cuccinelli also issued a legal opinion authorizing law enforcement officials to investigate the immigration status of anyone they stopped in the state. This was done previously, only for those arrested.

Cuccinelli, a master of spinning laws to suit his hardline immigration positions, noted at the time that the authority to investigate the immigration status of a stopped person should not “extend the duration of a stop by any significant degree.”

Like he is doing now to circumvent legal changes to the laws at the congressional level, the opinion at the time shrewdly circumvented policy changes by legislation.

But Cuccinelli’s xenophobic agenda goes back further. As a Virginia State Senator, Cuccinelli introduced a joint resolution calling on Congress to convene a constitutional convention to amend the 14th amendment of the US constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship and only extend citizenship to people born in the US who have at least one US citizen parent.  

Sounds familiar? This exact issue was recently touted by The Don as something the administration is eyeing going after next.

But first up they have zoned in on automatic citizenship for children of certain U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces adopted or born outside of the US. An “update to the USCIS Policy Manual” now states that as of Oct. 29, 2019, US citizen parent (s) must file and obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for their children using Form N-600K.

Cuccinelli seems to be spending his time pouring over rules in the manual and determining how to slyly change them unilaterally without much communication with USICE or other agencies. He has also now decided that immigrants battling severe illnesses, who would ordinarily be given special, temporary protection from deportation, will no longer be so “lucky.”

Instead, the USCIS has sent letters to parents of these ill children, telling them they must leave the U.S. within 33 days. And to make matters worse, much like this administration has done before with the botched child separation policy, the USCIS claimed falsely that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will now oversee the “medical deferred action” program.

Yet, US ICE officials has admitted to the New York Times that they have “no idea” about the change, nor is it prepared to handle the new responsibility.

Homicidal! That’s the only word that sums it all up. Cuccinelli and The Don may be riding high now on their xenophobic wagon, but their day of reckoning will soon come. The tears of too many immigrants have fallen because of them and that is never a good thing in the long run.

The writer is publisher at NewsAmericasNow

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