In a fiery exchange at a House immigration hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Ken Cuccinelli of pursuing a “heinous, white supremacist ideology at all costs.”
During the hearing of the House Oversight Committee, Wasserman Schultz took an aggressive tack, accused the administration of making “specious attempts to distinguish” between legal and illegal immigration, and accused the acting agency head of working in tandem with the president to suppress levels of non-white people for racism’s sake.
“I think it’s important for us all to be clear about what you have been aiming to accomplish,” Wasserman Schultz began to the witness. “You and Mr. Trump don’t want anyone who looks or talks differently than Caucasian-Americans to be allowed into this country.
The congresswoman continued, “You want to block all immigration and make life harder for immigrants, and you have demonstrated that you will pursue this heinous, white supremacist ideology at all costs — even if it means making critically ill children your collateral damage in the process.”
Cuccinelli fired back that the congresswoman’s assertions were “false” and “defamatory,” to which the congresswoman responded by telling him not to interrupt her.
“I am not a white supremacist, as you alluded,” the acting director said when he finally got a chance to respond. “Nor is the president.”
The two went into an intense back-and-forth over the administration’s updated “public charge” rule, which was announced in August and is meant to cut down on legal immigration of people unlikely to support themselves without government welfare.
Wasserman Schultz asked if the administration was trying to “shut down the American dream for immigrants who may not be rich or white with this policy.”
“No,” the acting director responded.
Wasserman concluded by accusing the administration of using “intimidation tactics” against immigrants “to make sure that people understand that they’re not welcome here if they’re brown or if they need help.”
“That’s false,” Cuccinelli responded despite Wasserman Schultz’s effort to silence him by yielding back her time and talking over him. “That’s utterly false.”
Wasserman Schultz accuses Trump immigration chief @USCISCuccinelli of pursuing a "heinous white supremacist ideology at all costs."
Cuccinelli calls Schultz's assertions "false" and "defamatory":
"I am not a white supremacist…nor is the president."
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/NaHDBRpSbU
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) October 30, 2019