WASHINGTON — As Donald J. Trump moved to wrap up his unlikely Republican nomination for the presidency, a senior adviser to Senator Ted Cruz laced into the entrance-runner in March 2016, in a final-ditch effort to swing the competition to Mr. Cruz, the more historically conservative candidate.
The target? Mr. Trump’s soft stand on immigrant workers.
“He uses the immigrants in ways in which advantage him monetarily but downside American voters,” Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II acknowledged of Mr. Trump’s hiring of non eternal foreign workers for Trump resorts from Florida to Novel Jersey. “He says it’s depraved,” Mr. Cuccinelli told a radio interviewer, “but he restful does it.”
Three years later, the president and Mr. Cuccinelli own put aside their variations to construct frequent motive in a pursuit of the fiercest anti-immigration agenda in generations. Because the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Companies and products, Mr. Cuccinelli now oversees smartly right immigration, including the visa program that he as soon as criticized and Mr. Trump made rich spend of in staffing resorts equivalent to Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, N.J.
From that apparently slender perch, he has roiled the Division of Native land Security, peppering slightly a few senior officials with pointed electronic mail requires, encroaching on Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations and in total appointing himself spokesman for all things immigration within the Trump administration.
In Mr. Cuccinelli, Mr. Trump has learned any individual to his lawful on immigration but completely based on his boulevard-combating abilities.
“He has many critics,” acknowledged L. Preston Bryant, a Republican who served within the Virginia Home of Delegates when Mr. Cuccinelli became as soon as a affirm senator, “but they underestimate Ken Cuccinelli at their very salvage wretchedness.”
Mr. Cuccinelli, a descendant of Italian immigrants who sought sanctuary at Ellis Island, became as soon as recruited first and valuable as the administration’s immigration czar, with the broadest that you furthermore could can imagine portfolio. Within days, though, he became as soon as redirected to head Citizenship and Immigration Companies and products. The more puny job description has now not hindered Mr. Cuccinelli. If the White Home adviser Stephen Miller is the architect of Mr. Trump’s effort to limit each and every smartly right and unlawful immigration, Mr. Cuccinelli has emerged as its public face.
He has aggressively pushed immigration policies with microscopic bother for smartly right constraints. His tendency to construct light of beautiful policies has incensed senior build of starting build safety officials, including the acting secretary, Kevin Good enough. McAleenan, and the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew T. Albence, based on administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk referring to the rising rigidity amongst officials.
Signature Cuccinelli initiatives comprise efforts to tempo up asylum screenings, to construct it tougher for kids of some energetic provider members born out of the country to function citizenship and to force immigrants going thru life-threatening smartly being crises to return to their dwelling countries (the administration now not too long ago launched that it could perhaps per chance per chance think again the final likelihood).
His agency furthermore put in build a rule that would whine smartly right build of residing to immigrants deemed at risk of spend authorities profit applications. A day after pronouncing that “public be aware” policy, Mr. Cuccinelli revised the iconic sonnet on the Statue of Liberty by pronouncing the United States would welcome those “who can stand on their very salvage two toes.”
Born in Edison, N.J., Mr. Cuccinelli, 51, became as soon as raised in Virginia, where he assumed the nickname “Cooch.” He graduated from the College of Virginia with an engineering level and from George Mason with a rules level.
From the birth, his political profession — he became as soon as a affirm senator from 2002 to 2010 earlier than changing into Virginia’s lawyer total — became as soon as marked by his essential-line stand on immigration at a time when his dwelling base, extending to parts of Fairfax County within the a ways suburbs of Washington, became as soon as divided by an influx of first-abilities People. He proposed rules that would enable employers to fire workers who did not talk English, advocated denying citizenship to the American-born kids of undocumented immigrants and provoked backlash as lawyer total when he referred to immigration policy while discussing killing rats in Washington.
He furthermore displayed the acumen to way huge-reaching, advanced policy.
A devout Catholic, Mr. Cuccinelli made his title nationally more as a social conservative than as an immigration essential-liner. He defended a Virginia rules that criminalized sodomy, advocated prohibiting Virginia affirm universities from holding same-intercourse couples from discrimination and investigated the College of Virginia to function documents related to the work of a scientist who studied local climate substitute, accusing the professor of fraud. He issued edited pins of the affirm seal for his group to wear with the exposed breast of a Roman goddess lined up.
“He absolutely shares Trump’s need for cultural warfare and a relishing of cultural warfare that is terribly odd for most Virginia Republicans,” acknowledged Brennan Bilberry, a broken-down spokesman for Terry McAuliffe, who defeated Mr. Cuccinelli within the 2013 Virginia governor’s shuffle.
Nonetheless long earlier than Mr. Trump became as soon as galvanizing his political base with anti-immigrant language, Mr. Cuccinelli outmoded a an analogous come to attraction to white voters in a impulsively altering Northern Virginia.
His district became as soon as “starting to stare early in his term a in actuality in depth influx from other folks outside who looked slightly a few,” acknowledged Ticket J. Rozell, the dean of the Schar College of Policy and Government at George Mason College in Virginia. “So there became as soon as some populist attraction to his taking a in actuality essential immigration stance.
“Nonetheless,” Mr. Rozell added, “with Cuccinelli, for correct or wicked, it has regularly looked that his positions came out of a effective core of his convictions.”
Mr. Cuccinelli’s allies issue his positions are rooted within the conclusion that a smartly right immigration system is wanted to affirming a functioning society. Nonetheless Mr. Cuccinelli tends to tailor his views based on whether the pleasant immigrants in interrogate are fleeing desperation south of the border or, like his ancestors, escaping Europe.
When a photograph of a drowned migrant father and daughter on the banks of the Rio Grande went viral in June, Mr. Cuccinelli acknowledged the daddy became as soon as in be aware. When he became as soon as pressed on CNN about his edit of the Statue of Liberty poem, he acknowledged Emma Lazarus’s infamous verses referred to “other folks coming from Europe where that they had class-based societies.”
Mr. Cuccinelli did not reply to requests to be interviewed, but a Citizenship and Immigration Companies and products spokeswoman, Jessica Collins, acknowledged Mr. Cuccinelli considered the United States as a nation of immigrants; affirming that tradition “requires immigrants to reach right here legally.” Ms. Collins acknowledged no doubt among the major bills Mr. Cuccinelli handed as a affirm senator prolonged smartly right protections to immigrants within the nation legally and illegally who had their personal documents withheld from them by the authorities.
Nonetheless present and broken-down Virginia lawmakers pointed to actions of a uncommon form taken by Mr. Cuccinelli, equivalent to a 2010 smartly right idea that allowed Virginia rules enforcement officials to substantiate the immigration build of residing of anyone they stopped. When Mr. Cuccinelli called real into a radio build of residing in 2012 to criticize a local ordinance that he acknowledged protected rats from being killed in Washington, he segued into immigration enforcement.
The rules “is worse than our immigration policy — you furthermore could can’t break up rat households,” he pivoted, it sounds as if advocating such separations. “Or raccoons or the entire leisure, and also you furthermore could can’t even execute them. It’s unbelievable.”
Claire G. Gastañaga, the government director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, sued Mr. Cuccinelli consistently when he became as soon as the affirm’s lawyer total, but she furthermore wrote columns with him and praised his willingness to offer protection to privacy rights, no doubt one of a handful of things in which Mr. Cuccinelli’s populism can atrocious social gathering strains.