Stephen Miller, a prominent immigration hawk and senior adviser to President Trump, previewed that the White House would take a tougher stance on allowing people into the country if the president wins a second term.
Miller told NBC News in an interview that a second-term agenda regarding immigration would revolve around curtailing how many people are granted asylum, outlawing “sanctuary cities,” bolstering the administration’s travel ban with stricter screening for visa applicants and implementing new restrictions on work visas.
Miller told NBC News that the goal is “raising and enhancing the standard for entry” to the United States and that it will be accomplished both by executive action and legislation.
“In many cases, fixing these problems and restoring some semblance of sanity to our immigration programs does involve regulatory reform,” Miller said. “Congress has delegated a lot of authority … and that underscores the depth of the choice facing the American people.”
- Specifically, Miller did not commit to lifting a freeze on new green cards and visas but said the administration would seek to bolster “burden-sharing” deals with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to prevent asylum-seekers from leaving Central America and arriving in the U.S., punish jurisdictions for failing to turn undocumented immigrants over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and vet “ideological sympathies or leanings” of visa applicants.
Trump campaigned in 2016 on hard-line immigration stances, including building a border wall with Mexico, and has adopted similarly tough policies while in office, including expanding the number of children who were separated from their parents in his “zero tolerance policy” that drew bipartisan condemnation.
Immigration has largely been relegated to the background in the 2020 cycle amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and the related economic fallout.