Donald Trump has captured the public eye with his statements on illegal immigration and the issue is central to his campaign message.
In spite of releasing a immigration policy paper in August, questions still circle around Trump’s approach to immigration and some critics wonder if his rhetoric is just empty bluster.
Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser for the Trump campaign and former communications director for Sen. Jeff Sessions, talked with The Daily Caller to answer questions on how the Republican front-runner approaches immigration and what kind of actions we could expect from a President Trump.
“There’s an overarching principle that covers all immigration policy — three principles to be exact,” Miller told TheDC in a phone interview.
“The first is that a nation without borders is not a nation. You’ve heard [Trump] say many times in many interviews either we’re a country or we’re not. It’s that simple. We’re either a country or we’re not. Similarly, the second principle is a nation without walls is not a nation, which is an extension of the first principle, but in other words. If you have laws, you enforce them,” he said.
“The last principle of the three is that a nation that does not serve its citizens is not a nation, which is to say that the social contract of the country is that the interest group that is served is not special interests, or lobbyists, or transnational corporations, or citizens of other countries. It is the citizens of this country, the United States,” he added.
According to Miller, the last point should be something subscribed to by most politicians, but instead “our immigration system and policies have catered to everyone but American citizens,” particularly when it comes to illegal immigration.
In contrast, Trump’s adviser says the outspoken businessman would tell “the entire world that the day when you can come here illegally is over.”
“Americans for the first time in their lives will wake up in a country where their immigration laws are enforced. That’s a powerful thing. People have been waiting decades for that chance, and now they have it by casting a vote for Donald Trump,” Miller claims.
That enforcement would result in the deportation of illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visas.
But how would a President Trump go about enforcing immigration laws? Will he use that much-feared “deportation force” which many pundits worry about to enforce these policies?
Besides the wall which Trump has promised to build to delineate the U.S.-Mexico border, Miller says enforcing law would simply require expanding and reforming the resources the federal government already has at its disposal.
“We’re going to have a biometric exit/entry tracking system as the law requires, we’re going to triple the number of ICE officers,” he said.
“ICE already has the resources to deport something on the order of about 400,000 people a year with its existing resources,” Miller told TheDC. “And that, of course, is under a current inefficient bureaucratic model.” (RELATED: Border Patrol Agent: We Will Be Terminated If We Try To Enforce The Law)
The proposals that Trump’s team would like to implement include streamlining the deportation of recent arrivals, replacing “catch and release” policies with mandatory detention for illegals caught within the U.S. and directing the resources and personnel dedicated to implementing President Obama’s executive amnesty to enforcing immigration laws.
“The more you enforce the law, the more future crime goes down and the more resources you have. It’s what Sen. Jeff Sessions has called a virtuous cycle,” the former Sessions aide predicted.
To Trump’s campaign, the most important element to resolving the problem of illegal immigration is eliminating birthright citizenship.
“Birthright citizenship really is the ultimate magnet for illegal immigration,” Miller explained to TheDC. “You can come here under our current policies on a 6-day trip, give birth to a child at a motel, and then your child will be an automatic lifetime U.S. citizen and in turn will be able to chain migrate you and others into the country on green cards.”
He also added that illegal aliens are less likely to be deported if they have a child born in the U.S.
To the man advising Trump on immigration policy, birthright citizenship “is an open, worldwide invitation to ignore America’s immigration laws and an absolute perversion, misinterpretation, misapplication of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
According to Miller, the practice is merely an un-adjudicated custom that’s not in the Constitution, but is “treated by the media and politicians as a truism.” (OPINION: No, The 14th Amendment Doesn’t Guarantee Birthright Citizenship)
That’s why Trump emphasizes that it wouldn’t require changing the Constitution in order to end birthright citizenship.
“You could do it through a variety of different means, whether it be legislatively, whether it be through potential guidance that’s issued,” Miller argued.
The Donald’s immigration plan also extends to legal migration and would likely result in a “numerical reduction.”
“We’re going to tighten up refugee programs, asylum programs, guest worker programs, etc. that would all affect a numeric reduction, but also [Trump] talks about with green cards having a requirement to hire American workers first,” Miller said.
He also claimed the proposed temporary ban on Muslim migration would reduce the numbers for legal immigration by halting the influx of a group which comprises over 100,000 visas awarded every year.Miller defended Trump’s controversial Muslim moratorium as “an extremely moderate, commonsense, basic step” to strengthening national security. He also claims it “would have very broad, bipartisan support and there’s obviously existing executive authority for suspending visa programs in the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
The Trump aide says that his candidate’s immigration plan is “the definition of compassion” and “prioritizes the interests of the people living here today — our poorest people, those struggling the most, those left behind, as well as our middle-class and our working-class and everybody in between.”
To the Trump camp, “it is uncompassionate and uncaring to pursue a system of open borders and mass migration that eliminates economic mobility, that shrinks the middle class, and that puts a pay raise and job security out of reach.”