Unconfirmed by Senate, Cuccinelli sees power, influence grow on immigration | TheHill


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SOURCE: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/459474-unconfirmed-by-senate-cuccinelli-sees-power-influence-grow-on
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Summary

Cuccinelli's position is one that typically comes with anonymity, but he has been a prominent figure since taking the job.He announced the administration’s public charge rule and took questions from the White House briefing room, something a press secretary hasn’t done in nearly six months.His official Twitter account is sprinkled with photos and videos from his visits to ICE and CBP facilities in Texas, and he's done interviews with CNN, NPR and PBS Newshour to defend the administration's policies and advocate for congressional action to pass stricter immigration laws.The blitz of public appearances illustrates the extent to which Cuccinelli has gone beyond the typical bounds of his own agency in an effort to satisfy President Trump, who is known to put an emphasis on loyalty and media optics.At a panel discussion in Texas earlier this month, Cuccinelli described his job as “not just working the immigration issue but also communicating on it.”“President Trump… has made it very clear to those of us in the administration that we should use every legal tool at our disposal, and we are doing that,” he said.USCIS did not respond to multiple requests for comment about Cuccinelli's role in the administration.Trump has been eager to further crack down on immigration, something he’s made a cornerstone of his administration and that he may view as advantageous in his reelection bid despite polling that shows it’s a divisive issue among voters.The Washington Post last week reported that Trump is clamoring for the completion of his long-desired border wall by November 2020, and that he told aides he would pardon them if they needed to break the law to finish the project more quickly.The report alarmed critics of Cuccinelli, who without Senate confirmation is largely accountable only to Trump.Cuccinelli has a background as an attorney and spent most of his political career in Virginia.

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