/For border issues, Cuccinelli blames Congress

For border issues, Cuccinelli blames Congress

Protest of border conditions in Tijuana

People hold a candlelight vigil to protest against U.S. immigration policies and detention conditions, next to the U.S. border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, on July 12, 2019. | Hans-Maximo Musielik/AP Photo

Trump immigration official Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday blamed Congress for the reportedly unsanitary conditions and overcrowding of migrant detention centers at the southern border.

“Congress has let it happen. It’s that simple,” the acting director of the director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services office told ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on “This Week.”

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Cuccinelli cited last month’s Border Crisis Supplemental Appropriations Act, which allotted $4.6 billion in emergency aid and was signed into law by President Donald Trump, as a way to improve the conditions for migrants in the detention centers. The reality, he said, is that the facilities are “not designed to handle the swamping at the border.”

“It was overwhelming focused on children and all of us prioritized care for children and in one month, we went from about 2,500 kids being in CPB detention facilities to about 300-some,” he said.

“So, when Congress provides the professionals at the border what they need, success happens,” he added. “Success being measured as avoiding overcrowding.”

Cuccinelli also addressed the ICE raids, which Trump has said are expected to start Sunday. He said there are over a million people who are in the country illegally that have gone through extensive due process, have removal orders, and have not left.

“I have a lot of respect for our ICE officers, they’re loyal, they’re compassionate,“ he said, “but they have a job to do and it’s a tough one and made a lot tougher when a lot of people in Congress throw the vitriol at them that they are unjust for doing their job and enforcing the laws of Congress.”

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