June 10, 2019

Contact: Waameeka AheVonderae,, (804) 362-8110


Trump Appoints Anti-Immigrant Crusader

Ken Cuccinelli as Head of Citizenship and Immigration Services


Trump’s Pick for Immigration Policy Role Draws Criticism from Local Organizers


Richmond, VA  A month after President Trump declared his intention to take immigration policy in a “tougher direction”, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s former attorney general, has been given to a top Department of Homeland Security post. Cuccinelli served as a senator in Virginia, where he sponsored bills to compel employees to speak English in the workplace and attempted to repeal birthright citizenship.


Cuccinelli has over the years become one of the most staunch opponents of immigration reform efforts. His policy and legislative positions have been wrongheaded and his personal comments about immigrants divisive and intolerant. On a D.C. radio program he compared immigrants to rats saying, “It is worse than our immigration policy. You can’t break up rat families…and you can’t even kill ‘em.”


VACIR, a collaborative of 34 organizations, condemns the appointment of Cuccinelli as Head of Citizenship and Immigration services due to his history of using hateful rhetoric against immigrant families and continued push for anti-immigrant policies.


“Ken Cuccinelli has a long record of pushing for and supporting anti-immigrant policies in Virginia,” said Edgar Aranda, Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO). “We pushed back and stopped several anti-immigrant bills introduced by him as a Virginia State Senator including one that would have allowed businesses to sue others who hired undocumented immigrant workers and another that would have designated the inability to speak English in the workplace as a reason to disqualify workers for unemployment benefits.  As our state Attorney General, he had Virginia join eight other states in opposing the Obama administration’s lawsuit challenging Arizona’s “paper’s please” law SB 1070. Mr. Cuccinelli will bring this anti-immigrant stance to his new role to the detriment of immigrant communities across the country”.