Washington, DC—Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, widely reported as Donald Trump’s pick as immigration czar, compared immigrants to rats in 2012 and appeared to endorse family separation policies. Speaking on a D.C. radio program, Cuccinelli said “It is worse than our immigration policy. You can’t break up rat families…and you can’t even kill ‘em.”
“It is shocking yet unsurprising that the man that locked immigrant children in cages would appoint an immigration official who compared immigrants and their families to animals that need to be exterminated,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Even before Donald Trump was promoting family separation policies, Ken Cuccinelli was discussing breaking up immigrant families. We know Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia and we know he’s a radical extremist with little regard for the strength of our diverse communities. Virginians and Americans deserve better than racist immigration policies and politicians who view immigrants as less than human.”
Cuccinelli ran for governor of Virginia in 2013 and lost the election to Governor Terry McAuliffe. Cuccinelli’s radical positions on immigration, abortion access, climate change, and equal rights for LGBTQ Virginians defined the race and drove his defeat. Cuccinelli was floated by state Senator Glen Sturtevant as a potential Virginia Supreme Court pick in 2015 before mass mobilization and opposition from state advocates ended the idea.
A full recording of Cuccinelli’s remarks can be found here.