U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting Director Ken Cuccinelli refused to say Sunday whether children caught up in deportation raids would be separated from their parents.
“I’m not going to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to anything like that because then certain people out there can write themselves off the list or find a way to play a loophole,“ Cuccinelli said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And the loopholes in our legal system are what we’ve been screaming to be fixed.“
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A Department of Health and Services inspector general report in January found that the Trump administration separated thousands more migrant children than it previously acknowledged and that the separations began months before the policy was announced publicly. President Donald Trump ended the policy in June 2018 amid uproar and after a federal court ordered his administration to reunify the families.
Raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, set to begin Sunday in major cities, raised questions about how the administration would treat U.S.-born children with parents who crossed the border illegally. Cuccinelli repeated Trump’s promise that the raids would focus first and foremost on dangerous criminals but declined to discuss specifics, including whether the raids had started.
“I can’t speak to operational specifics, and I won’t,” Cuccinelli told host Jake Tapper.