Lee Francis Cissna, Director of United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), is set to depart the Trump administration, according to reports from the Washington Post on Friday.
Cissna had been one of the few immigration patriots within the Trump administration generally trusted by pro-American immigration reform organizations to execute the agenda the President ran on in 2016. As director of USCIS, he placed additional scrutiny on big businesses seeking to import migrant workers through the H-1B visa program. He’s told USCIS staff that he’s set to depart from his position on June 1st.
Cissna is said to be leaving the administration to make room for incoming ‘immigration czar’ Ken Cuccinelli. Cucinelli, a steadfast Never Trump conservative who openly tried to overthrow Trump’s nomination at the 2016 Republican convention, is set to arrive in the role after calls from grassroots Trump supporters to support Kris Kobach fell on deaf ears.
The longtime DHS employee was rumored to have something of an ongoing feud with White House policy advisor Stephen Miller, a development that comes as a surprise to some, considering the two were thought to share common views on immigration policy. If true, it would appear that interagency bickering and byzantine power struggles may have played a role in booting Cissna from his office.
Many original Trump supporters had been hoping to see more of the President’s signature immigration policies implemented after the departure of Kristjen Nielsen from DHS, a former Bush administration official who failed to advance the ball on the wall construction and pro-American immigration reform. Now, with an avowed Never Trumper set to take over for Cissna, they’re left with even more uncertainty.
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