The Washington Post reported yesterday on the role that White House adviser Stephen Miller has played in shaping administration policy around immigration, including attempting to sell President Trump’s policies to his far-right allies at Breitbart News and anti-immigration groups and carrying their concerns back to the president.
The Post describes Miller’s “influential yet delicate role within the administration—a true believer in restrictionist immigration policies attempting to broker a historic deal on behalf of a president with similarly hawkish, but far more flexible, positions.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham described Miller as a key obstacle to constructing any deal on the Dream Act, telling the Post, “As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years.”
The fact that the president has put Miller in charge of his immigration policy shows just how far to the right he is on the issue. We first noticed Miller when he was an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions and joined a call with a number of anti-immigration groups trying to stop an immigration reform bill in Congress. At that time, Miller was organizing weekly happy hours for Sessions’ staff and Breitbart reporters and developing far-right anti-immigrant messaging that soon became the center of Trump’s political talking points. After joining Trump’s White House, Miller earned national fame with a series of ridiculously combative public appearances, including the press conference where he insisted that the Statue of Liberty is not actually a symbol of welcoming to immigrants.
Now that Congress has reached a temporary deal to keep the government open through February 8, there is still no clarity for dreamers as the DACA program approaches its expiration and 122 DACA recipients lose their protections every day. Trump has waffled publicly about his approach to dreamers, but his reliance on Miller—not to mention the ugly anti-immigrant ad his campaign just put out—shows where he truly stands.