Trump Thinks That Sending Immigrants To Sanctuary Cities Is A Threat That Will Benefit Him Politically
With former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, along with other DHS officials who helped initiate the separation of families seeking refuge in the US, gone, Democrats have zeroed in on another opponent to the immigrant rights movement: Stephen Miller.
According to those on the left, the 33-year-old White House adviser is behind President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policy. Most recently, he came up with the idea of releasing undocumented immigrants into “sanctuary cities.” Miller, who is frustrated that several asylum-seeking migrants are passing the first legal barrier of proving “credible fear” of persecution if they returned to their home country, believes sending them to Democratic-governed jurisdictions that have affirmed they would limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities could teach progressive cities and local politicians a lesson.
While the plan was never carried out, Trump has recently expressed new interest in it.
“Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” the president said on Twitter.
Trump, hoping to ignite fear in people who live in sanctuary cities, added that Democrats should change immigration laws “fast. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants – and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!”
Democrats, who have conducted several oversight and investigations of Trump-related issues now that they have the majority of the House, want to question Miller on immigration next.
“Steve Miller, who seems to be the boss of everybody on immigration, ought to come before Congress and explain some of these policies,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
However, it is likely that Miller might claim executive privilege, which would help him avoid testifying before the panel. Should he do that, Nadler said that would be “a misuse of executive privilege … Because he seems to be making the decisions, not the Cabinet secretaries who come and go.”
The remark was aimed at Trump, who’s often threatened when someone questions his power, but there is truth to the claim. Miller, a former congressional aide whose title is now senior policy adviser, was behind several of the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies: orchestrating the January 2017 executive order that barred travelers from seven countries and suspended refugee admissions, to proposing a zero-tolerance approach at the US-Mexico border to dissuade Central American asylum-seekers from lawfully seeking refuge in the US, to pressuring agencies to take more action against migrants at the border.
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), who is the chairwoman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on border security, facilitation and operations, told US News & World Report that Miller needs to come before her panel to “make his case for these terrible policies to the American people instead of being this shadow puppeteer.”
“It’s clear that he’s the one pulling the strings. And if he’s going to continue advocating for these policies and personnel change, then he needs to come before the American people and explain himself. He has to be held accountable,” she said.