Jul 14, 2019

Trump official Ken Cuccinelli blames Congress for border crisis

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli blamed Congress for the conditions of border detention facilities.

"I have a lot of respect for our ICE officers. They're loyal and compassionate, but they have a job to do and it's a tough one. It's made a lot tougher when you have a lot of people in Congress throw the vitriol at them that they are when they're just doing their jobs and following the laws that Congress put in place. "
— Cuccinelli on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

The big picture: President Trump has announced ICE raids will begin today, while Cuccinelli refused to comment on whether they had. "I can’t speak to operational specifics and won’t," he told CNN's Jake Tapper.

  • Ultimately Cuccinelli turned the blame back on Congress: "When Congress provides the professionals at the border what they need, success happens. The conditions, he added, are "a reality of facilities not designed to handle the swamping at the border."

Go deeper: Trump isn't matching Obama deportation numbers

Go deeper

680 immigrants arrested in Mississippi ICE raids

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers gather for a debriefing after operations in 2018. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

680 immigrants were arrested Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at 7 food processing plants in small towns in Mississippi, the AP reports.

Why it matters: ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said these could be the largest workplace raids ICE has had in more than a decade, and likely the biggest for any single state, per the AP. This comes just a few weeks after ICE raids that reportedly targeted thousands of immigrants resulted in just 35 arrests. ICE detention facilities still hold thousands more migrants than Congress has approved funding for.

On migrant detention centers, Trump and Pence say very different things

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump and Vice President Pence have given conflicting accounts of migrant detention centers.

What they're saying: When asked if the conditions at a southern border facility were acceptable, Pence told CNN on Friday, "No, it's not." But Trump tweeted Sunday that a tour showed the men's facilities to be "clean but crowded," adding that they were "also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals."

Go deeperArrowJul 14, 2019

Trump says he wants meeting with Schumer on immigration "ASAP"

President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Sunday night that he wants to set up a meeting on immigration with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) "ASAP."

Go deeperArrowJul 22, 2019