Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Stephen Miller says Trump to continue aggressive immigration agenda if re-elected

Photo of President Trump sitting at his desk with an agreement in front of him

President Trump in the Oval Office last year as Guatemala signed a safe third country agreement to restrict asylum applications to the U.S. from Central America. Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump intends to ramp up his existing immigration agenda, "raising and enhancing the standard for entry" to the U.S. if elected for a second term, senior adviser Stephen Miller told NBC News.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has faced backlash throughout the president's first term for making it harder for legal immigrants and undocumented border-crossers hoping to enter the country.

Details: According to Miller, immigration priorities for Trump’s second term include:

  • Limiting asylum grants.
  • Cracking down on and banning so-called sanctuary cities.
  • Expanding the travel ban to include more stringent screenings for visa applicants that would vet “ideological sympathies or leanings.”
  • Increasing restrictions on work visas by admitting only those “who can contribute the most job creation and economic opportunity” without displacing U.S. workers.

The big picture: While some of these priorities would need legislation to be enacted, others could be implemented through executive action, which Trump has repeatedly used to force his immigration policies past Congress.

The other side: If elected, Joe Biden would seek to restore DACA, provide pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, protect borders “in a humane way,” and terminate Trump’s now-reserved family separation policy, according to NBC News.

  • Biden responded to Miller's commentary later on Friday, calling Trump's second-term agenda "four more years of hateful rhetoric and division."
  • “We are going to win this election so that people like Stephen Miller don't get the chance to write more xenophobic policies that dishonor our American values," Biden's campaign director of Latino media Jen Molina said.
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