For Immediate Release
June 11, 2019
Media Contact: Kimlee Sureemee
216-881-0330 Ext. 8811
ASIA, Inc. Concerned With Appointment Of Kenneth Cuccinelli As USCIS Acting Director
Akron, Ohio – Asian Services In Action (ASIA), Inc. is deeply concerned with President Trump’s appointment of Kenneth Cuccinelli as the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Cuccinelli’s appointment is yet another threat to our country’s immigration system and could change the fundamental premises of immigration laws as currently exist in this country.
Cuccinelli is a dangerous anti-immigrant hard-liner. During his time as a Virginia state senator and as attorney general, Cuccinelli has sought to repeal birthright citizenship, force employees to speak English in the workplace and prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending universities. USCIS is now on the verge of finalizing a proposal that restricts legal immigrants who use public benefits from receiving green cards or legal permanent residency.
“As the leading health and social services organization for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the state of Ohio, our priority is to protect the rights of the communities we serve,” said Elaine Tso, CEO of ASIA, Inc. “Families should not be separated or be forced to choose between being with loved ones or meeting their basic needs. This ideology is the opposite of American values of freedom and opportunity for all.”
The position opened after President Trump forced the resignation of Lee Francis Cissna. His resignation happened in the wake of a proposal which reverses decade-long priority for immigrants to sponsor their family members, instead prioritizing high-skilled workers based on age, education, skills, and English-proficiency.
Cuccinelli’s lack of experience will leave millions of families and individuals at risk. Under the proposal, it is estimated that more than 4 million people waiting in family and employment-based green card backlogs would have their immigration applications eliminated. As a result, if individuals do not meet certain requirements under the new point-based system, they will have to leave the country.
ASIA, Inc. works toward human rights for all. Anti-immigrant rhetoric exacerbates hatred that too often ends in persecution, racism and even violence. We call on all Americans, including our leaders, to raise their voices for the dignity and safety for all persons everywhere.