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Stephen Miller "was running a sort of secret immigration think tank out of the West Wing," the N.Y. Times' Julie Davis and Mike Shear report in "Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration," out Tuesday.

Quick take: Miller is Trump's top immigration adviser and the engineer of the administration's hardline policies. Miller allegedly pushed for the resignation of former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen because she pointed out legal barriers to Trump's immigration plans.

What they're saying in the book:

"The group, which usually met on Fridays, was part of a quiet but methodical effort... to seize control of the machinery of government and use it to make good on the president’s immigration agenda ... Miller moved his task force’s meetings to his small office on the top floor of the West Wing, jamming 15 or 20 people around a conference table..."
"They scribbled their plans on large white flip charts, and the list of what they had to do grew longer and longer. They discussed overhauling the way the United States admits skilled workers, revamping ICE’s enforcement priorities and strategies for enhancing visa security. One early assignment from Miller was for the group to scour the immigration statutes and look for grounds of in-admissibility that were not being enforced."
"Another target was an old but ill-defined standard that said the country did not have to admit anyone who was likely to become dependent on the government for survival. That one would ultimately become an obsession for Miller."

Preorder here.

Go deeper

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Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.