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Stephen Miller’s Fingerprints Are All Over Trump Administration Efforts to Eviscerate Asylum Protections

 

“My mantra has persistently been presenting aliens with multiple unsolvable dilemmas to impact their calculus for choosing to make the arduous journey to begin with.”

Yesterday, the Trump Administration took the latest step in their ongoing effort to dismantle the asylum process in the form of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision to end asylum protection for families whose relatives faced persecution. The news should come as no surprise given the ongoing efforts of Stephen Miller and his nativist allies to seek out every possible way to gut asylum. 

Yesterday, a crack reporter found the smoking gun. Julia Ainsley of NBC News published a story on email exchanges at the highest level regarding the motives for making asylum so chaotic and complicated.

Ainsley’s piece, excerpted below, quotes an email sent by a Trump Administration National Security Council official and Stephen Miller ally that notes, “My mantra has persistently been presenting aliens with multiple unsolvable dilemmas to impact their calculus for choosing to make the arduous journey to begin with.”

This echoes previous quotes attributed to Miller in the book Team of Vipers by Cliff Sims, where Miller said, “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil.” 

The sum of the administration’s policies seem to be a concerted effort to grant Miller his wish.

Below, read excerpts from the NBC News story by Julia Ainsley, “Stephen Miller wants Border Patrol, not asylum officers, to determine migrant asylum claims”

White House adviser Stephen Miller wants to ramp up the use of Border Patrol agents as asylum screeners in an effort to curb the number of migrants who win initial entry to the U.S., according to an internal email obtained by NBC News.

In the email, a National Security Council official tells Customs and Border Protection officials to come prepared to a meeting scheduled for Friday, July 26, because Miller is interested in the rate of approval for initial screenings for migrants interviewed by Border Patrol agents versus asylum officers.

…emails obtained by NBC News suggest Miller and others in the Trump administration have another motive: To curb the number of immigrants passing their credible fear interview.

The official went on to say in the email quoted above that “(Miller) might press for an answer on when the (asylum) officers will no longer be looking over the shoulders of agents.”

One current and one former DHS official, both speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Miller has long seen asylum officers as soft and believes border agents would be tougher critics of asylum seekers.

…A second email referenced other agenda items for Friday’s meeting, including a plan to deport Central Americans from the country without a trial in the way only immigrants from contiguous countries are removed now.

The National Security Council official said in the first email quoted, ‘My mantra has persistently been presenting aliens with multiple unsolvable dilemmas to impact their calculus for choosing to make the arduous journey to begin with.’