- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2019

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting chief of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on Sunday said agents are ready to “perform their mission,” as President Trump’s two-week reprieve on sweeping deportations runs out.

Mr. Trump urged lawmakers to reform asylum laws ahead of the planned operation, but there’s been no movement on the issue in the deadlocked Congress.

Mr. Cuccinelli said initiation of the roundups is now up to Matthew Albence, deputy director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, since they’ll be targeted at people who have removal orders.

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“This is just what ICE is supposed to do,” he told Fox News Sunday. “The fact that we’ve fallen to the point where we’re talking about it like it’s news, tells you how far we’ve fallen on the enforcement side.”

Mr. Cuccinnelli later told CBS that it’s only making waves because Mr. Trump is trying to catch up on a backlog.

“Really, this should be going on on a rolling basis for ICE,” Mr. Cuccinelli told Face the Nation, suggesting agents had been impeded from carrying out removals in the past.

Mr. Trump’s push for a deportation sweep has been the subject of controversy, with some aides reportedly worried about the optics of people being torn from their homes or family members.

Mr. Trump said Friday he expects the operation to begin “fairly soon,” though added: “I don’t call them raids.”

“I say them came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally,” Mr. Trump said as left the White House for his New Jersey golf club. “These are people where we have the papers, we’ve gone through the court system.”

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