May 24, 2017
WASHINGTON – Lee Francis Cissna testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that if confirmed as director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, he would lean on his family history as guidance.
“Our family is literally a product of our Nation’s legal immigration system. Should I be confirmed, these experiences will undoubtedly illuminate everything I do as USCIS Director,” Cissna said.
According to an Associated Press report Cissna has worked for USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security in the past. During the confirmation hearing Cissna was asked multiple times about the DACA program. DACA status allows young people who were illegally brought to this country by their parents a chance to work and have lower priority for deportation.
Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin asked Cissna directly about the DACA program.
“Do you commit t o maintaining the existing DACA guidelines and to ensuring that individuals who apply for DACA or to renew DACA are only denied if they violated the terms of DACA,” Durbin asked.
“I’m aware that both the president and Secretary Kelly have stated publicly and reiterated that the DACA program is to remain in place and if confirmed I see my roll to administer that program well as it stands with it’s current parameters,” Cissna said.
During an interview with the Associated press President Donald Trump said DACA recipients can “rest easy” and went on to say his administration is “not after the dreamers, we are after criminals,” Trump said.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also asked Cissna about what happens to DACA recipients when their time runs out?
“They’re not given unlimited legal status are they,” Graham asked. “No, and that’s why a legislative solution is the best way to go with that,” Cissna responded.
Cissna was also asked multiple times about the high-skilled worker visa program known as H1-B. Cissna responded to those questions by citing Trump’s recent executive order directing USCIS to review the H1-B program and find ways to improve it.
This was the first time Cissna went on the record regarding his potential appointment as USCIS director. An official confirmation to the position could happen in the coming weeks.