Cuccinelli mum on whether families will be separated in ICE raids

Cuccinelli mum on whether families will be separated in ICE raids
© Stefani Reynolds

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ken Cuccinelli would not say Sunday whether expected Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids would separate families. 

Cuccinelli discussed the raids on CNN's "State of the Union," but told host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperRepublicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' Saagar Enjeti: Harris campaign 'is failing because she doesn't stand for anything' MORE he is not willing to discuss operational details, which, he said, would put ICE officers in danger. 

Among specifics Cuccinelli would not respond to was guaranteeing families won't be separated in the impending raids. 


"In the same way I wasn't willing to talk about operation details .... I won't comment on that," he said, of family separation. "There are 1 million people, including families, with removal orders."

Tapper asked how a pledge to not separate families is "operational." 

"I'm not going to say yes or no to anything like that, because then certain people can write themselves off ... or play a loophole," Cuccinelli responded. 

He also would not confirm if the raids had started Sunday morning, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE announced earlier they would.

Cuccinelli said the "priority" for ICE remains violent criminals, but that "will not be the exclusive limit of any operation." 

Cuccinelli doubled down on claims officials have made that facilities are past their capacity and there is not enough space to take in more migrants – but also said authorities were prepared to deal with an additional influx from the raids.

"You're about to do a raid, do you have the beds for them?" Tapper asked. 

"ICE is prepared for that," Cuccinelli responded.