Acting Director of the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ken Cuccinelli said Thursday, June 27, that the father who drowned while attempting to cross the border should have gone through the proper asylum process.
Cuccinelli referenced an incident wherein father Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his daughter Angie Valeria were found drowned on the banks of the Rio Grande.
“The reason we have tragedies like that on the border is because those folks, that father didn’t want to wait to go through the asylum process in the legal fashion, so [he] decided to cross the river,” Cuccinelli told CNN’s Erin Burnet.
“Until we fix the attractions in our asylum system, people like that father and that child are going to continue to come through a dangerous trip,” Cuccinelli said.
“Let’s not kid ourselves about how dangerous a trip that our laws, as dangerous as they stand now, are attracting these people into,” the USCIS acting director said. “The tragedy will only end when Congress finally fixes the loopholes.”
President Donald Trump chose Cuccinelli to serve as Acting Director of the USCIS June 10. The president has made it known that he aims to go in a “tougher” direction on immigration policy and that Cuccinelli’s appointment is a step in this direction.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at this critical time and serve alongside this agency’s dedicated workforce,” Cuccinelli said in a statement distributed by the agency.
“USCIS has the extraordinary responsibility to administer and protect the integrity of our nation’s lawful immigration system. Our nation has the most generous legal immigration system in the world and we must zealously safeguard its promise for those who lawfully come here.”
By Mary Margaret Olohan
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