One White House staffer holds the reins to American immigration policy, apparently.
Democratic and Republican senators who were hoping for a clean amnesty for illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors have expressed their frustration that Stephen Miller, senior adviser to President Trump, is ruining their plans.
“Every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we’re going nowhere,” Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Sunday.
Graham added that Miller’s hawkish views on immigration are an “outlier” and don’t reflect what the American people truly believe.
Several news outlets ran stories in the last two weeks on how Miller is single-handedly preventing a deal to legalize so-called “Dreamers” because he insists on Congress satisfying President Trump’s demands.
This is a terrible thing, according to the chattering class. As one MSNBC segment described Miller’s influence, he’s “poisoning” Trump’s views on immigration. The right thing to do would be for the White House to agree to amnesty without wanting anything in return.
A terrible deal for Republicans and Trump, one which Miller clearly recognizes as such.
The reason Miller generates so much hate from people like Joe Scarborough — who takes every opportunity to take potshots at the White House adviser — and others is that he is an effective aide in advancing the campaign agenda Trump won the presidency on.
Miller has done much to make sure Trump sticks to his principles in the fight over finding a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. When the president first announced back in September he was scrapping the program implemented by Barack Obama through executive order, it looked as if he would quickly give what the Democrats wanted.
Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump was ready to make a deal favorable to their interests at the time. Thankfully, Miller stepped in and Trump issued tough demands — such as funding for the wall, ending chain migration and mandatory e-Verify — that made sure a capitulation on DACA was not possible.
A similar thing occurred last week when Graham and other senators presented their DACA “deal” to the White House. The bill would have only given an insufficient amount for border wall funding, done nothing to end chain migration and legalized not only millions of Dreamers, but their parents as well.
According to reports, the White House rejected the bad deal based on the advice of Miller and White House chief of staff John Kelly, sending lawmakers make to the negotiating table to get a deal more in line with the president’s demands.
There have been many concerns among Trump’s base that he might cave on DACA for nothing, but Miller is proving to be a reliable factor in making sure that doesn’t happen.
Trump’s messy divorce with Steve Bannon in early January prompted numerous obituaries to Trumpism as a coherent policy agenda. Bannon, before his downfall, was trying to forge a political movement beyond Trump the man, but based on the agenda he won the presidency on. (RELATED: Trumpism Will Survive Without Bannon)
With the former Breitbart exec ousted from influence, there was the creeping suspicion among some Trumpists that the president may abandon his campaign agenda entirely. That suspicion was wrong, as evidenced by to Miller’s influence and Trump’s own infamous comments in the immigration negotiations.
The establishment media and establishment politicians don’t want Trump to actually be a Trumpist. They want him to be a swamp creature who betrays his base and gives the establishment everything it wants, such as amnesty for illegal immigrants, without anything in return.
Stephen Miller is a major obstacle to that goal, and that’s why they hate him. Without Miller there, a bad DACA deal would be law and there would never be a wall or any sensible changes to American immigration policy.
Fortunately for Trump’s base, Miller is not going to be forced out because Lindsey Graham doesn’t like him. Now we just have to wait for the two to debate on who’s really the outlier on immigration. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Refused To Debate Stephen Miller On Tucker’s Show)