Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is likely to be President Donald Trump’s pick for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security. That’s especially worrisome, as Media Matters for America reports that Cuccinelli previously told a right-wing site that states could invoke “war powers” against people crossing the U.S. southern border because “it’s an invasion.” He argued that this could mean “there’s no due process,” and states could “point them across the river and let them swim for it.”
If Trump hires Cuccinelli, who’s also a former CNN commentator, he would be in charge of coordinating immigration policy. This is a man who has a long history of anti-LGBTQ bigotry who has regularly pushed anti-immigrant policies. Cuccinelli has even gone so far as to compare undocumented immigrants to rats and opposed birthright citizenship.
What a guy. No wonder Trump likes him.
Perhaps the worst example of Cuccinelli’s anti-immigrant opinions occurred during the October 23, 2018 edition of Breitbart News Daily, the right-wing site’s radio program. Breitbart is notorious for promoting white nationalism.
The topic of discussion was the migrant caravan that was approaching the U.S. at the time, something that caused plenty of right-wing hand-wringing. This was a bald-faced attempt by Republicans to drum up votes for the upcoming 2018 elections.
And during the interview, Cuccinelli said that on a constitutional level, states could engage in war against the caravan because “we’ve been being invaded for a long time and so the border states clearly qualify here to use this power themselves.”
He maintained that if states did this “because they’re acting under war powers, there’s no due process.”
“They could literally just line their National Guard up with, presumably with riot gear like they would if they had a civil disturbance and turn people back at the border.”
“You could just point them back across the river and let them swim for it,” he said later on in the program.
Responding to program host Matt Boyle’s fear-mongering that the caravan might be infiltrated by terrorists, Cuccinelli explained why he thought the large group of people (which, in all likelihood were not terrorists) were an invading force.
“When someone comes across your border without your permission, it’s an invasion,” Cuccinelli said. “Their purpose here is to violate the border, to violate our sovereignty, for our own purposes. That’s an invasion.”
But people in the migrant caravan weren’t trying to invade the U.S.’s “sovereignty.” They were an unarmed group of women and children trying to escape desperate poverty and violence, Quartz reports.
The Washington Post reports that earlier this month that Trump’s advisers, responding to criticisms from immigration hardliners, “are looking at measures behind the scenes such as the Insurrection Act, an arcane law that allows the president to employ the military to combat lawlessness or rebellion, to remove illegal immigrants.”
Really. Against people who are unarmed and trying not to die. Simply disgusting. And whether or not Cuccinelli is appointed, the sad thing is, we can expect this to continue as long as Trump is in office.
Featured image courtesy of the video above