Frank Sharry on Stephen Miller NYTimes Report
A New York Times report from Caitlin Dickerson and Michael Shear, “Before Covid-19, Trump Aide Sought to Use Disease to Close Borders,” confirms that White House aide Stephen Miller used the pretext of the pandemic as justification to circumvent Congress and advance long-sought anti-immigrant policy goals.
As the report notes:
From the early days of the Trump administration, Stephen Miller, the president’s chief adviser on immigration, has repeatedly tried to use an obscure law designed to protect the nation from diseases overseas as a way to tighten the borders.
…what has been billed by the White House as an urgent response to the coronavirus pandemic was in large part repurposed from old draft executive orders and policy discussions that have taken place repeatedly since Mr. Trump took office and have now gained new legitimacy, three former officials who were involved in the earlier deliberations said. One official said the ideas about invoking public health and other emergency powers had been on a ‘wish list’ of about 50 ideas to curtail immigration that Mr. Miller crafted within the first six months of the administration.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
It is despicable and unsurprising. Stephen Miller is using a public health crisis that is killing tens of thousands of Americans to advance his long-sought xenophobic ‘wish list.’ He does so by tapping into the dark history of linking foreigners and disease at a time of crisis.
Saving lives isn’t Miller’s priority, exploiting a deadly pandemic to advance Trump’s cruel and cynical agenda is.
If Miller and the Trump administration actually cared about the health consequences of their policymaking, they wouldn’t be keeping ICE detainees locked up in COVID-19 hotspots, transmitting the virus to countries like Guatemala and Haiti in deportation flights, and expelling unaccompanied minors and asylum-seekers.
Trump only cares about re-election and reinforcing his xenophobic bona fides with his base to do so. Miller only cares about advancing his nativist agenda at all costs. It’s a dark and vicious cycle, and the mounting body count that results should be laid at their feet.