At Oversight Hearing, Cuccinelli Finally Admits He Made Decision to Deport Critically Ill Children

Oct 30, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 30, 2019)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, held a hearing entitled “The Administration’s Decision to Deport Critically Ill Children and Their Families.”  

The hearing marked the first time that Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Ken Cuccinelli, and Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew T. Albence, faced the Committee since the beginning of its investigation into the Trump Administration’s decision to deport children with critical illnesses and their families.


  • For the first time, Acting Director Cuccinelli admitted that he was the Trump Administration official who ordered critically ill children who had applied for deferred action to be deported from the United States and face potentially life-threatening consequences.
  • Cuccinelli admitted that his decision was a “mistake.”  He conceded that he made the decision without considering how it would affect individual children and families, instead characterizing this life-or-death decision as merely a “process” issue.
  • Cuccinelli would not say whether President Trump, Stephen Miller, or anyone in the White House was involved in the decision.
  • Cuccinelli also refused to guarantee that he would not begin deporting these children again if he becomes Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • Finally, Cuccinelli would not commit to providing a complete and timely response to former Chairman Elijah Cummings subpoena for documents—the Chairman’s last official act before his death.


Ken Cuccinelli
Acting Director
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Matthew T. Albence
Acting Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Watch Chairman Raskin’s opening statement.

Watch Acting Chairwoman Maloney’s question line.

Watch Rep. Pressley’s first line of questioning.

Watch Rep. Pressley’s second line of questioning. 

Watch Rep. Clay’s question line.

Watch Rep. DeSaulnier’s question line.


116th Congress