The Trump administration's war on immigrants is about to get a whole lot worse


Stephen Miller is spending the final days of the election pushing for even more extreme immigration policies.

Should Donald Trump get reelected, Stephen Miller, Trump's senior immigration adviser, is pushing to implement an even harsher slate of immigration policies over the next four years, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

If Trump wins a second term — or simply refuses to concede defeat — Miller will be closer than ever to achieving his vision of a White America.

Jean Guerrero is the author of Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda. In an interview with the Guardian, Guerrero said a second Trump term could unleash even more extreme, nationalistic immigration policies — with Miller as the mastermind behind them all.

At the top of Miller's list is getting rid of birthright citizenship, which holds that any child born on American soil is automatically a U.S. citizen. Eliminating birthright citizenship would imperil the legal status of millions of young Americans born to undocumented parents on U.S. soil, also known as DREAMers.

Also on Miller's policy wishlist is making the U.S. citizenship test harder; stripping protections for immigrants fleeing crises in their home country; and adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

This is only Miller's latest attempt to paint immigrants as an existential threat to America. Over the past four years, Miller, Trump, and their allies in politics and right-wing media have used hateful rhetoric time and time again to blame immigrants for the problems facing the United States.

They have peddled the racist myth that immigrants are somehow "stealing" American jobs. They have likened immigrants seeking a better life in the U.S. to ruthless "invaders." And they have argued that immigrants come to the U.S. with the sole purpose of giving birth to "anchor babies."

The overarching message from Trump, Miller, and their allies is the same: immigrants and refugees are not to be trusted because they want to "overrun" the country and upend American life as we know it.

"We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country," Trump tweeted in 2018. "When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order."

This is only Miller's latest effort in his career-long crusade to make the American public fear and hate immigrants as much as he does — and to shatter thousands of immigrants' lives in the process.

Miller spearheaded the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, which led to the violent separation and detention of hundreds of migrant families, often with no plans to reunite them.

In 2017, Miller went so far as trying to erase the legacy of the Statue of Liberty, claiming that the lines of the famous Emma Lazarus poem inscribed at the statue's feet — "Give me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses, yearning to breathe free" — were only added as an afterthought.

Miller has fought to block refugees from gaining asylum in the U.S., even if it means sending refugees back to home countries where they may face violent retribution in the form of torture or death.

Sometimes, that torture comes from U.S. immigration officials themselves. Last week, a group of refugees from the African nation of Cameroon were forced to sign their own deportation orders after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers allegedly choked, beat, and threatened to kill them.

It's not hard to connect Miller's policy plans to the ideology that animates them. In a cache of emails uncovered last year, Miller shared links to prominent white nationalist websites and trafficked in well-trod white supremacist conspiracy theories about "white genocide."

Yet Miller himself is descended from Eastern European refugees who fled anti-Semitic pogroms to settle in America. But Miller has never let his own family history stand in the way of his anti-refugee politics today.

In 2018, Dr. David Glosser — a retired neuropsychologist and Stephen Miller's uncle — wrote in Politico that his nephew "has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country."

According to Glosser, Miller's great-grandfather, Wolf-Leib Glosser, arrived at Ellis Island in 1903 with only $8 in his pocket. He did not speak English, yet he was welcomed into the country. Wolf-Leib Glosser and his family would likely have been killed for their Jewish faith if the U.S. had turned them away, forcing them to return to their home country of Belarus.

"I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses — the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom," Glosser wrote.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.