Cuccinelli emerging as Trump’s leading voice on immigration

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli talks during a walk through of the Migration Protection Protocols Immigration Hearing Facility, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Laredo, Texas. Cuccinelli is emerging as the public face of the president’s hard-line immigration policies. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is emerging as the public face of Trump’s immigration policies.

Ken Cuccinelli tells the AP in an interview that he was mandated by President Donald Trump to aggressively communicate policies, and that’s what he’s doing. But he remains a polarizing figure.

His agency leads asylum officers, and recently unveiled new regulations making it easier to deny green cards to immigrants who use public benefits.

Even despite the changes, nearly 34,000 new U.S. citizens will be naturalized in more than 300 special ceremonies from Sept. 13-23 in celebration of Constitution Week.

During 2018’s budget year, the agency naturalized than 756,000 people, a five-year high in new oaths of citizenship.

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