Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, tried to blame the stabbing attack that occurred at a Hanukkah party in New York City on immigrants.
“The attacker is the US Citizen son of an illegal alien who got amnesty under the 1986 amnesty law for illegal immigrants,” Cuccinelli wrote on Monday. “Apparently, American values did not take hold among his entire family, at least this one violent, and apparently bigoted, son.”
Soon after, Cuccinelli deleted the inflammatory statement from his Twitter account.
Cuccinelli is a long-time anti-immigrant activist who was recruited by Donald Trump to head the customs agency.
Cuccinelli is one of many “acting” officials within the Trump administration, a status brought about by high turnover of officials and opposition by even many Republicans to Cuccinelli’s anti-immigrant approach.
In his role, Cuccinelli has spearheaded ideas like increasing the costs for those attempting to immigrate to the United States, which would discourage immigration.
In a Congressional hearing, Cuccinelli said that families under major emotional strain due to a major illness should be forced to “make their case” before immigration courts on whether they should be allowed to stay within the country. At the time, the Trump administration had issued an order, since rescinded, threatening to remove such families.
Cuccinelli even complained about the pro-immigrant message affixed to the Statue of Liberty. He told an NPR host that the poem from Emma Lazarus should be changed to read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet.”
Cuccinelli previously served as Virginia’s attorney general and compared immigrants to rats on a radio show.
“[The D.C. wildlife protection policy] is worse than our immigration policy — you can’t break up rat families. Or raccoons or all the rest, and you can’t even kill them. Unbelievable,” he told a conservative host.
He tried to get Virginia to implement a rule similar to Arizona’s notorious “papers, please” law that would have allowed law enforcement to racially profile people and check the immigration status of anyone they pulled over or arrested.
While in the Virginia state senate he advocated for a change to the 14th amendment of the Constitution that would end birthright citizenship. He also introduced a bill that would ban non-English speakers from receiving unemployment benefits.
Five people went to the hospital as a result of the attack on Saturday and the suspect was arrested by police an hour after the incident.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.