President Trump is expected to tap former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli to help implement his immigration policy on the border. The administration reportedly considered bringing Cuccinelli into the White House, but appears set on having the immigration hardliner operate out of the Department of Homeland Security where he will report to acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan. “Cuccinelli, who has been hawkish on immigration policy during television appearances that also praise Trump, appears to fulfill the president’s desire to have a forceful personality and a loyalist at the highest levels of DHS,” the Washington Post notes. “The White House offered the job to Cuccinelli after it was turned down by Tom Homan, the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to two officials.”
Trump has been pondering bringing in a czar-like figure to the administration to help stem the recent record-breaking influx of immigrants that has confounded the president. Trump had discussed the role with former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, but appears to have cooled on the idea of reprising the head of his voter fraud commission as the immigration point man of the administration. “[Cuccinelli] is the second person to be given a prominent role in the Trump administration this month after publicly backing aggressive immigration policies on cable news, which Mr. Trump consumes with gusto. Mr. Trump named Mark Morgan, who was forced out as Border Patrol chief two days after Mr. Trump took office, to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the New York Times reports. “Mr. Cuccinelli served as attorney general in Virginia from 2010 to 2014, running unsuccessfully for governor there in 2013. A prominent conservative, he supported Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for president in 2016, leading an effort to win over delegates to the party’s convention, including those supporting Mr. Trump. That kind of history has kept other officials from jobs they had hoped to get in the Trump administration.”
The timeline of Cuccinelli’s official appointment have not yet been determined, but an announcement could come as early as the end of this week.