Ken Cuccinelli: Detaining Immigrant Families Longer to Act as Deterrent to Solve Overcrowding

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli in a contentious Friday appearance on CNN’s “New Day” defended the Trump administration’s plan that would allow for the detention of migrant families beyond the 20-day limit for holding children, saying there is a purpose behind it.

Host Alisyn Camerota asked Cuccinelli to explain how this new plan solves the problem at the border.

Cuccinelli said the new plan would prohibit family separation and show future immigrants they would be held for the duration of the hearing process, which would deter immigrants that know they are not asylum cases from overcrowding the facilities at the border.

“This solves the problem by demonstrating to families that are considering coming to the southern border illegally that they will be detained for the duration until their hearings can be held,” he told Camerota.

Camerota interrupted, saying over crosstalk, “I want to make it clear, this is a deterrent.”

“Can I please finish answering the question?” asked Cuccinelli.

“I think you did answer the question,” Camerota responded. “It’s a deterrent.”

“The reason this is so important — this is a deterrent because they know that instead of rushing the border, which is what’s been going on for a number of years now, by using the massive numbers coming to the border and overwhelming our facilities and our capacity to hold folks and our court rulings, which is what the Flores rule was, that now they can and will to the extent we’re able to do so, hold them until those hearings happen. They won’t simply be released into the interior for us to never see them again,” he explained.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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