Considering the significant amount of influence he wields in the White House, advisor Stephen Miller rarely makes public statements or appearances. There are two obvious reasons for this: he’s often uncontrollably combative, yelling and attacking everyone who questions his motives, and his casual and admitted cruelty toward immigrants undermines the White House’s claims of using legal and humane practices.
House chairman asks Stephen Miller to testify next month on immigration policies https://t.co/46uuXy1d6B
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 17, 2019
Now, the House Oversight Committee is requesting his presence for testimony around some of those practices, several of which have been deemed either illegal or simply highly unethical. In the letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the committee’s chairman, said:
‘I am inviting you to testify before the Committee because it appears that you are one of the primary moving forces behind some of the most significant – and in my view, troubling – immigration policies coming out of the Trump White House.’
A 33-year-old with connections to white supremacists is crafting policies that will destroy our country and what we stand for. Stephen Miller has no place in the White House.https://t.co/5gBYCPEiYI
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) April 15, 2019
Cummings made it clear that the request was for a voluntary appearance, with which Miller is unlikely to be allowed to comply. However, the immigration policies coming out of Trump’s White House are concerning enough that the “voluntary” status of that request may not last. The policies that concern the committee were detailed in the letter.
‘I am offering you an opportunity to make your case to the Committee and the American people about why you — and presumably President Trump — believe it is good policy for the Trump Administration to take the actions it has, including intentionally separating immigrant children from their parents at the border to deter them from coming to the United States, transferring asylum seekers to sanctuary cities as a form of illegal retribution against your political adversaries, and firing top Administration officials who refuse orders to violate the law.’
Trump and Stephen Miller should be locked up for this alone. https://t.co/19ALmyMX4T
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) April 16, 2019
Because Miller is not an official cabinet member, he was not subject to a confirmation hearing. Considering the magnitude of his influence in the White House, that is especially concerning. Democrats are concerned that with the dismissal of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson, who complied with some of the crueler Trump policies encouraged by Miller but stopped short of implementing policies that violated the law, immigration policies will surely continue to worsen.
The Washington Post reports that:
‘Democrats have increasingly focused on Miller. The White House aide is not in a Cabinet-level post, yet Democrats worry that he is calling the shots more than other department heads who work on immigration on a daily basis.’
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) April 17, 2019
Cummings acknowledged that the White House probably won’t allow Miller to testify, but also noted that a non-cabinet official making sweeping policy reforms requires oversight. Cummings also pointed out that Trump, despite his insistence that the policies are approved and conceived only by him, told reporters that Miller is in charge of immigration policies in a contradictory statement.
‘I understand that you may not want to submit yourself to rigorous questioning by a full panel of Committee Members, some of whom have grave concerns about your views and your actions. However, since President Trump recently announced that you are “in charge of handling all immigration and border affairs,” it makes sense for Congress to hear directly from you about how federal agencies are implementing your policies.’
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