Trump appoints Mr Cuccinelli, director of immigration, to head USCIS


The Trump administration has appointed an immigration officer director of the federal agency responsible for legal immigration.

Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's former Attorney General and defender of the right to deny citizenship to US-born children of parents living illegally in the United States and to limit courses in public universities to lawful citizens or residents , was designated Monday from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.


"I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead the US Citizenship and Immigration Services at this critical time and serve alongside the dedicated staff of this agency," said Cuccinelli in a statement. "USCIS has the extraordinary responsibility of administering and protecting the integrity of our country's legal immigration system. Our country has the most generous legal immigration system in the world and we must zealously preserve its promises for those who come here legally. "

Cuccinelli's name was swayed for months. He had also been considered for an immigration tsar job, a job possibly held by the White House, but officials said last month that he would not play that role.

It is unclear whether Trump will nominate Cuccinelli for the permanent position. This would require confirmation from the Senate, which could be difficult.

The position was opened after Trump forced the resignation of Lee Francis Cissna, who, according to Trump, was not doing enough. Cissna said that he was working "passionately".

Trump is facing a growing crisis: tens of thousands of Central American migrants cross the border every month, overwhelming the system. He has not been able to follow through on his major problem of reducing immigration and strengthening border security.


Last month, Cissna told his associates in an email that he was grateful to them for their support and their services, but had not given them any information on the prospects for the future.

"In the last 20 months, every day, I've worked passionately to fulfill the USCIS mission of faithfully administering the country's legal immigration system," Cissna wrote to staff in May.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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