USCIS Director Resigns: Trump Administration Seeks New Leader

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Director (USCIS), L. Francis Cissna submitted his resignation at the request of the president to be effective June 1st. This departure comes in the shadow of recent changes in administration throughout the Department of Homeland Security. Many believe that the changes in administration are a result of dissatisfaction from the White House given President Trump’s desire for even tougher policies on immigration. According to Washington Post reports, Trump is set to place former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the next director. This change, along with other recent changes in the Trump Administration, could preview an administration with tougher stances on immigration policy.

Cause for Concern

Bi-partisan concern surrounding the potential appointment of Ken Cuccinelli stems from Cuccinelli’s vast immigration knowledge gap as compared to Director Cissna. Additionally, Cuccinelli will be a far more political appointment than career long bureaucrat, Cissna. A harsh political opponent of Mitch McConnel, Cuccinelli will face bi-partisan criticism during confirmation. The Washington Post site Cuccinelli as the leader of the 2014 Republican effort to unseat ranking Republican members of Congress. Unlike Cuccinelli, Cissna joined USCIS in 2017 with years of immigration experience. While Cissna has kept faith with several hardline immigration policies out of the Trump Administration, USCIS under Cissna has challenged immigration announcements and policies out of the White House. While the change comes among greater controversies in the administration, Cissna left with a positive message. He wrote “It gives me great pride to reflect upon the many strides we have made in a relatively short period of time to carry out our statutory mission and ensure that you’re appropriately trained and empowered to carry out your individual duties and responsibilities under the law.I also know we have carefully and purposefully laid the groundwork for many more, much-needed, lawful reforms to come in the near future.” While Cissna leaves after overseeing some of the toughest immigration policy changes in the past several decades, Cuccinelli may take measures to a new height.