Cuccinelli: 'The Liars Are Getting in the Way of...True Asylum Seekers'

By Susan Jones | July 1, 2019 | 8:05am EDT
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is now the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the nation has a backlog of more than 300,000 asylum cases, as more and more people flood into this country, expecting to stay.

"We're doing everything we can to knock that backlog down," Cuccinelli told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo. "But until Congress fixes the loopholes, meaning gets rid of them...we are not going to see an end to this crisis."

Cuccinelli said many people are coming here for economic reasons -- they want a job, but that is not a valid reason to grant asylum.

"Well, overwhelmingly, they just want opportunity. Plenty of them are lying and saying they want asylum and trying to make up cases for asylum. It is our job to filter through those...and vet those cases to find only the true ones.

"And what's happening here is, the liars are getting in the way of America's historic and continuing merciful approach to true asylum seekers...The whole system is clogged, including for the good ones."

"They are jumping the line," Cuccinelli said.

Cuccinelli just returned from the border, where he saw Border Patrol agents doing what he called a "phenomenal" job, despite the overcrowding pressures.

"I mean, you think about the logistics of screening these people who come across uncontrolled into our country. You have medical screening. They've got to be held.

"And, remember, the Border Patrol was designed and their facilities were designed basically to intercept, capture, process and return adult Mexican males. And they can do that in hours, literally in hours."

But Cuccinelli noted that the rules are different for Central Americans and for people claiming to be families. Those people cannot be immediately returned to their home countries until their cases are heard.

At last week's second Democrat debate, every one of the ten candidates raised their hands when they were asked if they would provide health coverage for illegal aliens.

"And it's those incentives that are the problem here that Congress refuses to fix," Cuccinelli said. "We can't just issue memos, like President Obama did. Courts strike those down when President Trump does it. And they defend the memos of President Obama, even when they were illegal, even acknowledged to be by the president, meaning President Obama himself, like DACA. So we don't have these options.

"Congress has to fix these loopholes. And that means closing them."

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