Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants immigration official ousted

Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants immigration official ousted
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is demanding the removal of a top immigration official in the Trump administration.

The CHC says that having Julie Kirchner as ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is “offensive, insensitive and malicious.”

The USCIS ombudsman provides assistance to immigrants who face challenges during their immigration process. The role is also responsible for a yearly report to lawmakers, which is used for making policy recommendations.

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Kirchner was announced as the next ombudsman late last month. She is the former director of the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Eugenics supporter John Tanton founded FAIR, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-immigration hate group.

“We do not believe that a person who has spent over a decade attacking immigrant communities will now work effectively and thoughtfully to advance the rights of immigrants fulfill the important duties that are required of this role,” the CHC said Wednesday in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

The Washington Post first reported on the letter Thursday, which was signed by Chair Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamDACA advocates see efforts gaining steam in the House By rejecting GOP congressman, Hispanic Caucus rejects civility Hispanic Caucus rejects Republican's request to join MORE (D-N.M.) and 18 other Democratic CHC members.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman on Thursday called criticism of Kirchner “unfounded.”

“Julie Kirchner is an experienced and accomplished attorney with expertise in immigration issues,” David Lapan told The Post. "She is unquestionably an expert in immigration policy and law, and as such, is well qualified to fulfill the duties of the office.”