Kenneth Thomas Cuccinelli II ( KOO-chi-NEL-ee; born July 30, 1968) is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 46th attorney general of Virginia from 2010 until 2014, and currently works in the Trump administration as acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) office. He was in the Virginia Senate, representing the 37th District in Fairfax County from 2002 until he took office as attorney general in 2010.
On May 18, 2013, Cuccinelli won the Republican Party's gubernatorial nomination at the state party convention. Cuccinelli was the Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election, losing to the Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe, by 56,435 votes or 2.5% of the total votes cast.A self-described opponent of homosexuality, Cuccinelli in his position as Virginia Attorney General defended anti-sodomy laws and prohibitions on same-sex marriage. Cuccinelli rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, and in his position as Attorney General investigated climate scientists, who he argued were engaged in fraud. He filed lawsuits against the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. Characterized as an immigration hard-liner, Cuccinelli sought to prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending universities, repeal birthright citizenship, force employees to speak English in the workplace. As CIS Director, he implemented and defended policies that would reject applications for visas or permanent residency for immigrants considered likely to utilize publicly funded benefits programs.
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