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Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli sent a memo to acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan earlier this month requesting the authority to publicize personal information about refugees and asylum seekers accused of crimes, Buzzfeed News' Hamed Aleaziz reports.

Why it matters: Only the DHS secretary currently has the power to release information about asylum seekers and refugees being prosecuted. Cuccinelli has become one of the loudest immigration hardliners in the administration, and as USCIS director, has already rolled out a series of regulations cracking down on immigrants and asylum seekers.

"[T]he Acting Director requested the same authority in order to educate the America public, lawmakers, and media about the dangerous criminals who came to the United States by abusing our legal immigration system.”
— A USCIS spokesperson told Buzzfeed News

The big picture: While he oversees the agency that deals with the legal immigration system, Cuccinelli has defended Trump border policies and raids on unauthorized immigrants — issues more relevant to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

  • This wouldn't be the first time Cuccinelli has tried to broaden his powers, either. The New York Times reported earlier this month that Cuccinelli demanded that ICE turn over control of the the student visa program.

Go deeper: Cuccinelli tells Axios that birthright citizenship should be limited

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
12 mins ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.