Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, accused the chief of the government’s legal immigration agency Wednesday of pursuing a “white supremacist ideology,” sparking a brief row in a congressional committee.

The Florida Democrat also complained about a “specious” distinction between legal and illegal immigration, and accused acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli of “intimidation tactics” to try to keep “brown” people out.

“You want to block all immigration and make life harder for immigrants and you have demonstrated you will pursue this heinous, white supremacist ideology at all costs,” she told him during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee.

Mr. Cuccinelli fervently denied the accusation — “I am not a white supremacist, as you alluded,” he said — but Ms. Wasserman Schultz retorted that he had “white supremacist followers.”

Then, using her privilege as the questioner, she shut down his attempts to respond.

“The time is not yours,” she said. “Thank you, I yield back the time, and the witness does not have the floor.”

What seemed to irk Ms. Wasserman Schultz were Mr. Cuccinelli’s issuance of a new policy earlier this year potentially denying the chance at a path to citizenship for migrants who have made widespread use of some welfare programs.

A USCIS official later told The Washington Times that if Ms. Wasserman Schultz and other members of Congress don’t like the laws USCIS is carrying out, they can write new ones.

“When some in Congress refuse to debate policy on the merits, they instead resort to baseless, slanderous attacks,” the official said.

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