The Trump administration is eyeing the former leader of an anti-immigrant hate group to take charge of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services, Politico reports, citing a White House official and three individuals close to the situation as sources. The news comes as the most recent development in a chain of abrupt administrative staffing changes that have caused alarm in some Republican lawmakers.
Julie Kirchner was the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization that advocates for lower levels of immigration, and is currently being considered as a possible candidate to lead the government agency, according to the sources. She had also been under consideration for the deputy director position recently.
If selected and received Senate confirmation, she would take the place of Francis Cissna, who three sources say is expected to be pushed out of his role by the end of this week as President Trump and his senior advisor Stephen Miller continue to shake up the White House staff. One official acknowledged that, although several in the White House believe that Cissna will be pushed out, Sen. Chuck Grassley's objections to the move could slow down the process significantly.
If Cissna is ousted, he would be the fifth official to have recently either resigned or been fired—actions that have caused uncertainty in fellow Republicans over a destabilized DHS as he attempts to enforce his aggressive stance on immigration.
The selection of Kirchner would likely outrage Democrats and immigration activists. Hate watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled FAIR, the organization which she previously led, as a hate group “because it promotes hatred of immigrants, especially non-white ones.”