Trump adviser Stephen Miller reveals aggressive immigration program for second term

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller has drawn up plans to revive Trump’s restrictive immigration program if he wins re-election next week, offering a stark contrast to Democratic candidate Joe’s platform Biden.

In a 30-minute telephone interview Thursday with NBC News, Miller described four main priorities: limiting asylum grants, punishing and banning so-called sanctuary cities, extending the so-called travel ban with stricter screening of visa applicants and impose new limits on visa work.

The goal, he said, is to “raise and strengthen the entry requirement” to the United States.

Some of the plans would require legislation. Others could be achieved through executive action, which the Trump administration has relied heavily on in the absence of a major immigration bill.

“In many cases, solving these problems and restoring some semblance of common sense in our immigration programs involves regulatory reform,” Miller said. “Congress has delegated a lot of authority. … And it underscores the depth of choice facing the American people. “

Miller, who serves a dual role of advisor to the White House and to Trump’s re-election campaign, stressed that he only spoke about second-term priorities in his capacity as campaign advisor.

Immigration has been eclipsed by the surge in the number of coronavirus cases and an economy shattered by a pandemic of almost a year, but it was at the heart of Trump’s rise in the Republican Party, and Miller has been a driving force for the administration’s often controversial policies to crack down. illegal migration and erect barriers for aspiring legal immigrants.

Miller has spearheaded an immigration policy that critics call cruel, racist, and antithetical to American values ​​as a nation of immigrants. He scoffs at these claims, insisting that his only priority is protecting the safety and wages of Americans.

And he said he intended to stay to see the agenda in a second term if Trump is re-elected.

An immigration freeze

In the short term, Miller would not commit to lifting the freeze on new green cards and visas which will expire at the end of the year, saying this would be “entirely contingent” on government analysis taking into account the state of the post. . market.

When asked if he would support reinstating the controversial “zero tolerance” policy that led to family separation, Miller said the Trump administration was “100% committed to a policy of unity. family ”, but he described the policy as a policy that would keep families. together in immigration detention by amending what is known as the Flores settlement agreement.

Over the past year, the administration has sought to amend the Flores agreement, which stipulates that children cannot be detained for more than 20 days in immigration and customs custody. If this is successful, immigrant families could be detained indefinitely while waiting for their day in immigration court.

Keep asylum down

Under Trump’s watch, asylum subsidies have plummeted. Miller wants this to continue. He said a Trump administration for a second term would seek to expand “burden-sharing” agreements with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that cut off routes to the United States for asylum seekers.

“The president would like to expand this to include the rest of the world,” Miller said. “And so, if you create safe third-party partners in other continents and in other countries and regions, you have the potential to share the burden of asylum seekers globally. “

Punish and proscribe sanctuary cities

“Another major priority with a big contrast is going to be to get tough on the sanctuary cities,” Miller said.

He noted that the administration has withheld some grants to sanctuary cities. In a second term, he said, he would continue the battle with two new initiatives.

First, Miller said, Trump would push for legislation tabled by Senator Thom Tillis, RN.C., which would punish jurisdictions that refuse to hand over those arrested who are illegally in the United States to the ICE. for deportation. Second, Trump would go even further with a law to “ban the practice”, thus forcing authorities to turn these migrants over to authorities.

Expand the travel ban, screenings

Miller said another priority would be “to build on and expand the framework that we have created with the travel ban, in terms of raising the standard of screening and admission control in the United States.” United “.

This includes improved selection methods and better information sharing between agencies to screen applicants for admission to the country. The United States is already seeking links with terrorism and extremist groups. Miller wants to go further by checking visa applicants for “sympathies or ideological tendencies” to assess their potential for recruiting radicals.

This may include changing the interview process, adding interviews, or talking to people close to the candidates about their beliefs.

“This is going to be a major priority,” he said. “It will take an effort from the whole government. This will require the construction of a very elaborate and very complex filtering mechanism. “

Restricted work visas

Miller said a Trump administration in the second term would finalize efforts to reduce the use of guest worker programs such as H-1B visas, including eliminating the lottery system used in the process when applications exceed quota annual and prioritizing those who are offered the highest salaries.

He said Trump would pursue a “points-based entry system” for granting US visas aimed at admitting only those who “can contribute the most to job creation and economic opportunity” while preventing the “displacement of American workers”.

Biden campaign response

Biden’s Latin American media campaign manager Jen Molina said if elected Biden would reinstate DACA, unveil legislation in his first 100 days with a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants, protect borders in a humane way and put an end to “shameful practices such as family separation” that have left children stranded.

“We are going to win this election so that people like Stephen Miller do not have the chance to write more xenophobic policies that dishonor our American values,” Molina said. “Unlike Trump, Vice President Biden knows that immigrants make America stronger and have helped build this country. “

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