Administration

Trump Citizenship and Immigration Services head out at agency

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The head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is out at the agency, the latest shakeup at the department charged with implementing President Trump’s immigration agenda, according to multiple reports.

Lee Francis Cissna, who took over as USCIS director in October 2017, sent a letter to agency staff on Friday evening confirming that he had submitted his resignation effective June 1, saying he submitted it “at the request of the President,” CNN reported.

“As an immigration law and policy professional dedicated to the rule of law like so many of you, I appreciate that this opportunity to serve was a unique experience,” Cissna wrote in the email thanking staff and looking back at his tenure at the agency, according to CNN.{mosads}

An agency spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Trump is reportedly expected to tap former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) to be the next head of USCIS, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is tasked with overseeing legal immigration to the U.S.

A White House official confirmed earlier this week that Trump was expected to hire Cuccinelli for a new top job on immigration based in DHS as the administration seeks to implement the president’s immigration agenda. No start date has been made public.

Cuccinelli served as the top law enforcement official in Virginia from 2010 to 2014. His expected appointment comes as Trump has pushed for the administration to take a more aggressive posture on addressing what he has called a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The White House has been overseeing a change of senior leadership at DHS starting with the departure of Kirstjen Nielsen in April. Cissna’s removal was rumored for months, with White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has advocated a hardline on immigration, reportedly pushing to oust Cissna and other agency officials.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was among those vocally opposing the reported shakeups at DHS earlier this year, but acknowledged last month that he would “have to accept” Trump’s purge of top officials at the department.

“I know the president’s goals on immigration are the same as mine, pretty much the same as mine I would say, and that the president’s gotta have people in place who will do his job, and since his goals are the same as mine I’m gonna have to accept it,” Grassley said in April.

Cissna previously served as director of immigration policy within the DHS Office of Policy and spent time working for Grassley on Capitol Hill.

Tags Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Immigration to the United States Kirstjen Nielsen Kirstjen Nielsen Stephen Miller United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

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