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Cuccinelli and Albence Agree to Testify Next Week on Inhumane Policy of Deporting Critically Ill Children

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 17, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, announced that Ken Cuccinelli, the Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Matthew T. Albence, the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have agreed to testify voluntarily before the Subcommittee on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

“This debacle is another installment in the Trump Administration’s long-running mistreatment of immigrants and abuse of our laws,” said Chairman Raskin.  “Despite the proclaimed reversal of this cruel policy, the process remains shrouded in secrecy, and affected families still do not know if their requests will be adjudicated fairly.  We have a duty to find out who was responsible for this decision and how requests will be handled for these children and their families going forward.”

The Committee has been investigating the Trump Administration’s decision to deport critically ill children since August 2019, shortly after it was adopted. Chairman Raskin has led this investigation, along with Committee Members Ayanna Pressley and Mark DeSaulnier.

On September 18, 2019, Chairman Raskin requested testimony from Cuccinelli and Albence after their subordinates refused repeatedly to answer basic questions at a hearing on September 11, 2019.  On September 19, 2019, Cuccinelli stated that he would not attend the hearing, and the Subcommittee postponed it to this month. 

Last week, Cummings sent a memo to Committee Members announcing that he was prepared to issue subpoenas to compel Cuccinelli and Albence to testify at a hearing today, on October 16, 2019.  After further negotiations, both officials agreed to testify voluntarily—with a one-week delay—on October 24, 2019.

Despite their agreement to testify, both Cuccinelli and Albence have continued to refuse to produce documents they have been withholding for weeks.

On August 30, 2019, Cummings, Raskin, Pressley, DeSaulnier, and more than 100 other Members of the House and Senate sent a letter seeking documents from USCIS and ICE, but they produced none by the September 13, 2019, deadline.

On September 24, 2019, USCIS and ICE submitted partial answers to the Committee’s requests, but withheld critical information and provided none of the requested documents. 

Last week, after Cuccinelli and Albence again refused to produce the documents, Chairman Cummings notified Committee Members that he intended to issue subpoenas requiring them to produce the documents they have been withholding. 

Those subpoenas were served yesterday, with a due date of Monday, October 21, 2019.

Click here to read the subpoena to Cuccinelli.

Click here to read the subpoena to Albence.

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