Top Immigration Official Refuses To Guarantee No Family Separations In ICE Raids

Ken Cuccinelli was pressed by CNN host Jake Tapper but refused to offer any assurance that families would avoid separation during Sunday's raids.

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli refused on Sunday to guarantee that Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids would not result in the separation of families.

“In the same way I wasn’t willing to talk about operational details, that would be an operational detail that I’m not going to comment on,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper, declining to say whether family separations would occur for raids that did not involve violent criminals.

“There are a million people, including families, with removal orders,” he added. “The priority remains for ICE to get at criminals.”

Pressing Cuccinelli on the matter, Tapper asked how pledging that families would stick together, or at least committing to attempting to avoid separations, would reveal an operational detail.

“I’m not going to say yes or no to anything like that,” he continued, still refusing to answer the CNN host’s question and offering no assurance that family separations couldn’t still happen in homes across the country during raids.

On Saturday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the raids had already begun, reminding immigrants in a tweet, “you have rights,” and noting that resources were available for those affected.

Raids were also expected to occur in nine other major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

According to The New York Times, it appears that just “a handful of arrests” took place as of Sunday afternoon, with those being “reported in only a few cities.”