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Acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli. Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli told Axios' Mike Allen Thursday morning that birthright citizenship should be limited to the children of legal immigrants — although he doesn't expect any action on the issue any time soon.

The big picture: Cuccinelli declined to say whether he wants the Homeland Security secretary position or if acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan should get it permanently. "Answering questions like that creates news that shouldn't exist," he said. He said Trump has not approached him about the position, and that he will do his job aggressively.

On the Bahamas: When asked why temporary protections weren't given to Bahamians to allow them to stay in the U.S. given the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian, Cuccinelli blamed the courts for interfering.

  • Federal courts have stopped the administration from ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from places such as El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.
  • Cuccinelli said that until the program was back in executive control, he doesn't see the administration being able to issue new protections.
  • He added that the U.S. government is providing humanitarian support in other ways to the Bahamas.

On court rulings: Cuccinelli praised the Supreme Court's latest ruling, which allows immigration officials to deny asylum to migrants who do not apply for asylum first in a country they've travelled through.

  • He said he expected it to help with large backlog of asylum cases.
  • "They're clogging up the system so we can't get people with legitimate asylum claims, and they're hoping to get released into the interior."

The bottom line: Cuccinelli expressed frustration at the slew of lawsuits the administration has faced over its immigration policies. "Anything we've done since I've been in office ... there's been a strong legal foundation there," he said.

Go deeper

Asymptotic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.