Sunday, October 13, 2019
With Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan stepping down, President Trump is looking for a new Secretary. Fox News reports that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli, who has put in place a number of hard-line positions, is seen as a likely replacement for Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. According to Fox News, the "move . . . would be welcomed by immigration hardliners."
A former senior DHS official with close ties to the administration told Fox News that Cuccinelli is on the top of Trump’s list to be the next acting secretary. The source noted that "he, [White House adviser] Steve Miller and Trump are all in sync on a number of key policies.
Fox News also reports that "[i]f Trump doesn’t go with Cuccinelli, [a] source said Trump may go with former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach -- another hardliner . . . ." Wow!
Trump may some resistance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has in the past indicated his "lack of enthusiasm" for Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli was previously president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which seeks to push more conservative Senate candidates and was often critical of McConnell and his allies.
A Cuccinelli pick would also face significant opposition from Senate Democrats. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), declared Cuccinelli "unfit" to lead USCIS after old remarks emerged of the former Virginia attorney general calling illegal immigrants "foreign invaders."