United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Ken Cuccinelli blew up the narrative that sanctuary policies don’t provide cover for violent criminal records.
Many cities, counties, and states in the nation have adopted “sanctuary” laws that forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when arresting illegal immigrants.
While these policies mostly aim to protect non-violent illegal immigrants from being deported for additional minor criminal infractions, such as a speeding ticket, these same policies can protect violent criminals that are hiding from ICE.
During an interview on “State of the Union” on Sunday morning, Cuccinelli pushed back on host Jake Tapper after he claimed that he doesn’t believe “anybody has any issue with dangerous criminals” being deported. Cuccinelli pushed back on that narrative, explaining to Tapper that sanctuary policies provided cover for violent criminals who recently murdered a 14-year-old girl in Maryland.
Watch Cuccinelli’s comments:
“But Jake, that isn’t even right. We’re sitting here at the capital of the United States. Barely a month ago, MS-13 killed a 14-year-old girl on the other side of the border in Maryland and the killer and two accomplices had been in Prince George’s County police detention for violent crimes, aggravated felonies. And Maryland, their attorney general, and the Prince George’s County government proudly proclaimed they were providing sanctuary for those folks and now there is a 14-year-old girl dead and that is MS-13 and they wouldn’t cooperate with I.C.E.”
The heated exchange between Tapper and Cuccinelli came as ICE agents begin to execute their mass deportation raids in major cities throughout the United States.
Cuccinelli noted that the top priority of these raids is to ensure that violent criminals are removed from the country, though the agency would not be limiting themselves to just violent criminals and would consider the deportation of any person in the country illegally.