Donald Trump asks legal immigration chief to resign amid border security push

Mr Cissna’s suggested departure comes as President Trump is under pressure to fulfil campaign promises of tightening border security and immigration regulations

Victoria Gagliardo-Silver
New York
Saturday 25 May 2019 17:35
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A Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement bus is seen parked outside a federal jail in San Diego, California
A Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement bus is seen parked outside a federal jail in San Diego, California

Donald Trump has asked Lee Francis Cissna, the current head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services to vacate his position with the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr Cissna’s suggested departure comes as President Trump is under pressure to fulfil campaign promises of tightening border security and immigration regulations, with the added stress of an influx of Central American asylum seekers arriving on the US-Mexico border.

His agency is responsible for legal immigration, visas and benefits, and he will vacate the position on June 1.

Mr Cissna’s departure will create another vacancy in DHS top leadership positions, adding to more than a dozen empty seats.

His job had been threatened before, as the Trump Administration felt that new regulations and immigration rules were not being imposed quickly enough.

However, many prominent Republicans came forward in defence of Mr Cissna and his record, and his job was thought to be saved.

AP News reports that Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia Attorney General, is being considered to replace Mr Cissna as the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a role which requires Senate confirmation.

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Mr Cuccinelli is known for his restrictive views on immigration, including past initiatives to deny birthright citizenship to children born on US soil to parents residing in the US illegally and limiting in state college tuition to legal residents and US citizens.

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