The night before Thanksgiving is a time for many Americans to head down to the local bar and meet up with schooltime friends, but sometimes—as President Donald Trump's virulently anti-immigrant acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli found out Wednesday—those encounters can leave a sting.
Cuccinelli, an outspoken opponent of immigration who has been referred to as a "white supremacist" by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and others, was excoriated by former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley at Washington, D.C. pub the Dubliner at an unofficial Gonzaga College High School alumni meetup Wednesday night.
Martin O’Malley just drove Ken Cuccinelli out of the Dubliner in DC w/ a passion-laced and shame-invoking tirade on behalf of immigrant refugee children!!!
— Siobhan Houton Arnold (@siobhanphilly) November 27, 2019
According to The Washington Post, O'Malley "unloaded his frustration at the Trump administration's separation of migrant children from their parents and detention of immigrants in chain-link enclosures at the southern U.S. border."
"We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages—certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga," O'Malley told the Post via text message.
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O'Malley also referred to Cuccinelli as "the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president" in a follow-up text.
— Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer) November 28, 2019
An immigration hardliner with a long record of anti-immigrant sentiments, Cuccinelli in August said the Statue of Liberty's greeting should be reinterpreted to read "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge." The Trump administraion official's antipathy toward immigrants from the global south was also on display as he made a point of noting that in his view the statue's message was solely for "people coming from Europe."
Progressives praised O'Malley for taking a stand.
"God bless Martin O'Malley," tweeted New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.