By Jack Phillips
A former White House immigration adviser proclaimed that a second Trump term would include stricter policies targeting illegal immigration, saying it would be a “spectacular migration crackdown.”
“Any activists who doubt President Trump’s resolve in the slightest are making a drastic error: Trump will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown,” President Donald Trump’s former adviser, Stephen Miller, told The New York Times over the weekend. “The immigration legal activists won’t know what’s happening.”
The former adviser had been President Trump’s speechwriter and also led his immigration policy, which included constructing a border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border and initiating more deportations.
Mr. Miller told the paper that President Trump’s immigration plans are being crafted to avoid having to pass congressional legislation. During his first term in office, the former president used a myriad of executive orders to implement his policies, of which many were challenged in courts.
If elected in 2024, President Trump would again attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy that allows certain people who meet requirements to request a grant of deferred action, said Mr. Miller. Those who are given DACA can be eligible to work legally in the United States.
Meanwhile, the former acting director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Tom Homan, told the NY Times that he would like to return to the Trump administration to “help to organize and run the largest deportation operation this country’s ever seen.”
Mr. Miller said that such a plan “will be a labor-market disruption celebrated by American workers, who will now be offered higher wages with better benefits to fill these jobs,” adding, “Americans will also celebrate the fact that our nation’s laws are now being applied equally, and that one select group is no longer magically exempt.”
Elaborating, Mr. Miller said a future Trump administration would try to increase the number of ICE agents, saying that other federal law enforcement agencies would be reassigned for the task. State National Guard members, local police officers, and others would be deputized to carry out immigration control measures, he told the paper.
He stated that Mr. Trump would like to invoke the Insurrection Act at the border, which would allow the usage of federal troops to arrest illegal immigrants. “Bottom line,” he noted, “President Trump will do whatever it takes.”
In a recent rally in Florida earlier this month, President Trump vowed to carry out the “largest domestic deportation operation in American history” and said that a number of criminals are coming through the border. He also warned that people with “bad intentions” are also pouring in.
The former president also said he would “terminate all work permits for illegal aliens and demand that Congress send me a bill outlawing all welfare payments to illegal migrants of any kind.”
In response, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign issued a critical statement to CNN regarding Mr. Miller’s comments and the Trump plans, describing it as “the horrifying reality that awaits the American people if Donald Trump is allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again.”
The policies crafted by Mr. Miller “are meant to stoke fear and divide us, betting a scared and divided nation is how he wins this election,” said Ammar Moussa, a spokesperson for the campaign.
Since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, illegal immigrants or would-be illegal immigrants have shown up at the U.S.–Mexico border in high numbers, leading officials in states like New York—which are thousands of miles from the border—to issue warnings about the phenomenon.
For the fiscal year 2023, there were around 2.5 million encounters with illegal immigrants at the U.S.–Mexico border, topping the previous record that was set in 2022, according to government data. More than 2.3 million apprehensions and more than 1.7 million apprehensions, respectively, were recorded in 2022 and 2021, the data shows.
The U.S. Border Patrol made around 220,000 encounters along the U.S.–Mexico border in September, according to data. That’s a 15 percent increase from the month before.
Republicans and President Trump have said that the surge in illegal immigration is largely due to the Biden administration’s policies, which they have described as lax and ineffective. Other 2024 GOP candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have said they would implement U.S. border security measures.
In response, President Biden’s administration has recently said it would build some 20 miles of border wall. The administration has also resumed deportation flights to Venezuela, according to a recent statement.
“It is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023, are not eligible for such protection,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, “and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay.”