The acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security on Monday tweeted, and then deleted, a comment tying the mass stabbing of Orthodox Jews on Saturday night to former President Ronald Reagan’s immigration law.
“The attacker is the US Citizen son of an illegal alien who got amnesty under the 1986 amnesty law for illegal immigrants,” Ken Cuccunelli tweeted. “Apparently, American values did not take hold among this entire family, at least this one violent, and apparently bigoted, son.”
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to a request for comment about the tweet. TPM couldn’t verify Cuccinelli’s claim about the parent of alleged stabber Grafton Thomas.
Within an hour, it had been scrubbed from Cuccinelli’s Twitter page.
The DHS official, an immigration hardliner, has never been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and served as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before being elevated to his current role as acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security. He now holds both titles.
Monday did not mark the first time Cuccinelli has criticized the 1986 Reagan administration law that, among other things, granted amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.
During his unsuccessful 2013 campaign for governor of Virginia, Cuccinelli said he supported immigration legislation “where everybody knows the rules and what they’re going to be and does it without amnesty, so we don’t repeat the 1986 problem again,” Mother Jones reported at the time.