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Ken Cuccinelli was part of group calling immigrants ‘foreign invaders’

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When it comes to immigration, Ken Cuccinelli’s favorite word might just be “invaded.”

Cuccinelli, President Donald Trump’s acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, has been waging a war against undocumented immigrants, at least with his rhetoric, since 2007, CNN reported Saturday.

He’s been in the media a lot this week due to a rule he announced that will limit green cards for immigrants using, or deemed likely to use, public benefits such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid.

Cuccinelli also sparked outrage for reimagining Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statute of Liberty, changing the words from “give me your tired, your poor,” to, “who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Read more: Trump’s acting immigration chief introduced legislation as a state senator that would have allowed companies to fire employees who didn’t speak English

But he’s been vehemently anti-immigrant for a lot longer. He was a founding member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, which was established in 2007, according to CNN. The organization tried to invoke war powers under the Constitution on the basis that undocumented immigrants were “invading” the US like a foreign army.

According to its website, the group formed to serve as a “unifying force to bring all levels of government together to terminate America’s illegal alien invasion.”

He said he wanted to use ‘war powers’ to stop migrants

Ken Cuccinelli.
AP

In 2007, the group sent a letter to then-President George W. Bush citing Article 4 of the Constitution, concerning government’s role guaranteeing every state is protected against “INVASION.”

The letter said, “The illegal alien invasion must be terminated to protect Americans from increasingly documented incidences of homicide, identity theft, property theft, serious infectious diseases, drug running, gang violence, human trafficking, terrorism and the growing cost to taxpayers.”

Again in 2014, this time in Texas, when thousands of children were arriving at the border, Cuccinelli said the state was being “invaded” and that then-Gov. Rick Perry should be allowed to enter treaties and wage war against children coming from Central America.

The following year, in March 2015, he said on the radio that then-President Barack Obama was encouraging an invasion, according to CNN.

Read more: The history of the famous poem on the Statue of Liberty that keeps annoying Trump officials

AP

“We’re being invaded, right? One person at a time, we’re being invaded. And the president isn’t protecting us from invasion, he’s encouraging the invasion, and he’s doing it unconstitutionally.”

In an interview with Breitbart in 2018, he said the US had been invaded for a long time. Again, he wanted to use “war powers” to stop the migrants, which would mean no permission was necessary.

“When someone comes across your border without your permission, it’s an invasion. Their purpose here is to violate the border, to violate our sovereignty, for their own purposes. That’s an invasion.”

In June 2019, he was controversially appointed acting director of USCIS, the agency that administers much of the country’s immigration system.

At the time, the head of a union representing USCIS employees said his appointment would spell of the end of “legal immigration as it currently exists,” The Hill reported.

Read the full story from CNN here.

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