Donald Trump has plucked one of the top congressional staffers on Capitol Hill to guide his policy on immigration and other important issues.
Stephen Miller has served the last seven years as director of communications for Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who has been the U.S. Senate’s most reliably anti-amnesty member in recent years.
Miller, 30, confirmed Tuesday he will be joining the Trump campaign as the billionaire’s senior policy advisor.
“I am excited to announce that I am beginning a new job as Senior Policy Advisor to presidential candidate Donald J. Trump,” Miller said in an email.
Ann Coulter, author of the New York Times best-seller “Adios America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole,” said Miller is the brightest young mind in the country on the issue of immigration – both legal and illegal. By hiring him, it shows Trump is serious about converting his tough rhetoric into policy, she said.
“He’s the only person in the country who knows more about immigration than I do. He’s absolutely brilliant and a true American patriot. It says a lot about Trump that he’s smart enough to steal Miller away from Sen. Sessions,” Coulter told WND. “If you still had a scintilla of a doubt, you can rest easy now: Trump’s not backing down on immigration.”
Sessions is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on immigration and the national interest, and Miller has been the aide that the senator from Alabama has relied on for some of his most challenging work. Miller helped formulate Sessions’ stance on complex issues such as guest-worker visas, illegal border entries, crimes committed by illegal aliens and refugees, and visa overstays. All of these points and more are addressed in Sessions’ 26-page immigration primer for the 114th Congress.
Michele Bachmann, for whom Miller worked before joining the Sessions’ team, had high praises for his abilities.
“I found Stephen Miller to be a bright, thoughtful, trusted advisor. He reaches conclusions only after considering all sides of an issue,” Bachmann said in an email. “His assistance is of high value.”
And it wasn’t just conservative Republicans who acknowledged the significance of the hire. Even the establishment Washington Post took note. The Post’s Robert Costa wrote:
“The hiring of Miller is the latest sign that Trump’s tight-knit campaign team is expanding as he continues to lead GOP polls and planning to release more policies in the coming weeks as the primary race unfolds.
“It also underscores Trump’s increasingly cozy relationship with Sessions, a prominent immigration hard-liner in Congress who has yet to endorse a candidate.
“Months ago, Sessions appeared at a Trump rally in Mobile, Ala., going so far as to don a “Make America Great Again” hat. Now the aide most often at his side is enlisting with Trump.”
Miller will work alongside Sam Clovis, Trump’s national campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, drafting white papers and assisting the candidate with debate preparations.
The Trump campaign said Miller will be in Iowa Thursday to work with the candidate ahead of the Fox News debate that night, the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.
Miller is a graduate of Duke University. He began his career as press secretary for various lawmakers. He’s been with Sessions since 2009.
Miller has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Sessions’ team after the election.
“Working for Senator Jeff Sessions these last seven years has been the single greatest honor of my life,” said Miller. “My gratitude is inexpressible. Sessions’ character, dignity and resolve is without equal. He is the embodiment of public service; his devotion to the citizens of our country is absolute.”
One of Washington’s most active lobbyists against amnesty for illegals is William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration or ALIPAC. Gheen told WND he was encouraged by Trump’s decision to hire Miller.
“I think that’s powerful and it reflects part of a little bit of what Trump’s weak flank is. He is not connected with the pre-existing legislative and grassroots movement against illegal immigration,” Gheen said. “You’ve got groups like ALIPAC and NumbersUSA and members of Congress who are probably very excited to see Trump coming with his issues but with members of Congress he doesn’t have the relationships.”
In fact, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has already endorsed Ted Cruz for the nomination. King is seen as the top immigration hawk in the House, comparable to Sessions in the Senate.
“And a lot of Republicans in Congress are lined up behind Cruz and Rubio, because they worked closely with Cruz to defeat the 2013 Rubio amnesty bill,” Gheen said. “The Republicans like those endorsed by ALIPAC are the ones currently being targeted for removal from office by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and (Facebook founder) Mark Zuckerburg’s Silicon Valley groups, like Fwd.us.”
Miller made his mark in 2013 during the fierce debate over whether to enact comprehensive immigration reform, a bill that would have expanded refugee resettlement, student visas and guest-worker visas while providing a path to citizenship for illegals. Miller guided Sessions through numerous interviews as the senator opposed the push for amnesty that was supported by “Gang of Eight” member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and many other Republicans. The bill ended up passing the Senate but stalled in the House.
Gheen said the U.S. Chamber has raised $100 million to defeat conservative Republican congressmen in the current election cycle and replace them with establishment Republicans who will lie down for Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to enact amnesty by piecemeal.
“The Chamber has said they’re going to come at us with $100 million, twice the amount of last time,” Gheen said. “So Trump has not come out with the ground-game or with connectivity in the Congress and the limited number of illegal-immigration fighting groups. But I think his decision to hire Katrina Pearson as spokeswoman, and now Sen. Sessions’ top immigration adviser, is a step in the right direction.”
But right now the core fighters against the expansive immigration agenda of President Obama and Ryan are split between Trump and Cruz for president.
“Both realize their key to victory is they are against amnesty and for the existing laws of the United States,” Gheen said. “That is the key to winning the GOP primary of 2016.
ALIPAC does not endorse for president, choosing to play an “informative role” only, Gheen said.
“I think it’s wonderful that at least two of our presidential candidates are talking, are trying to sound, like William Gheen of ALIPAC. I’m very encouraged,” he said. “But I don’t know these men, and each one is claiming that the other isn’t what he claims to be.”
Arpaio endorses Trump
Sheriff Joe Arpaio also came out and endorsed Trump Tuesday.
“Trump is trying to make inroads with people who have been involved in the immigration fight before him,” Gheen said. “Arpaio is a key part of that.
“Voters really need to know which candidate, between Cruz and Trump, will get the illegal immigrants out of America, for good, which is what our current laws require,” he said. “Our current laws state that all illegal aliens are to be deported and prohibited from returning for a minimum of 10 years.”
Gheen said that’s the only way to prevent “20 million future socialist voters in America” and millions more lost jobs for American workers.
“So if Trump is really going to make America great again, the only way that can be done is to send a message to these illegals and to hundreds of millions of future illegal aliens that breaking into the U.S. is a bad idea.”