RELEASE: The Anti-Immigrant Extremists in Charge of the U.S. Immigration System

Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress column underscores the right-wing extremist views of the officials that President Donald Trump has put in charge of our nation’s immigration system.

While anti-immigration extremists have sought to gain influence for decades, they have gained authority under President Trump, normalizing policies rooted in hate and bigotry. The Trump administration officials highlighted include:

  • Thomas Homan, Trump’s prospective “border czar.” While acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homan played a key role in operationalizing the family separation policies that have been terrorizing families since at least 2017.
  • Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Cuccinelli has a long history of promoting anti-immigrant policies, including a 2008 effort to overturn the birthright citizenship provision of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution for the children of undocumented immigrants.
  • Julie Kirchner, USCIS ombudsman. Prior to joining the administration, Kirchner was the longtime executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its ties to white supremacist groups.
  • Mark Morgan, acting director of ICE. Since assuming leadership at ICE, Morgan has regularly defended putting children in cages.

“While those who sought to dehumanize and degrade immigrants used to only exist at the fringe of the immigration debate, under President Trump, extremists have been put in charge of every aspect of immigration policy, from adjudicating visas to overseeing the crisis at the southern border,” said Jessica Cobian, senior campaign manager for Anti-Hate and Immigration at CAP and author of the column. “If we want to restore integrity and humanity to our immigration system, we must remove these extremists from power.”

Read: “The Anti-Immigrant Extremists in Charge of the U.S. Immigration System” by Jessica Cobian

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202.495.3682.