This week the president oversaw a clean out of the department of homeland security, firing Kirstjen Nielsen and appointing a senior Customs and Border agency official, Kevin McAleenan, to oversee an even tougher approach to try and halt the number of Central American migrants arriving at the border.
The firing of Ms Nielsen, who apparently sought to push back at Mr Trump’s efforts at reducing the US’s obligations to asylum seekers under international law, was reportedly orchestrated by Mr Miller, 33. He is said to have leaked unflattering immigration information to conservative news outlets and then placed those reports in front of the president.
Not everyone in the Miller clan agrees with the White House approach to immigration. Mr Miller’s uncle, David Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist who volunteers with refugees in Philadelphia, has spoken out against them.
“The worse that one group treats another group, the greater their need to demonise that group in order to justify their repression or exploitation of them,” he told Democracy Now.
“So here we see Trump spewing vitriol and lies regarding the asylum seekers and trying to characterise them all as gangsters, criminals or even using the word, having implied that they’re “vermin”, during his explosive rants before the midterms. It doesn’t really represent the reality at all.”
He added: And it’s the same—it’s the same racial and ethnic hatred that’s faced other ethnic groups trying to come into the country at other times in our history. There’s really nothing new about it.”
Amid reports Mr Trump wanted to reintroduce the controversial policy of family separation, a tactic that was last year halted by a federal judge, Mr Mr Glosser said he drew little legal distinction between separating children from their parents and holding them prisoner, with no clear intention of ever reuniting them, with taking hostages taking in time of war.
“The fact that there’s been a spike in the flood of families fleeing from the failed states in Central America is not a problem for Trump. That’s his opportunity. That’s essentially the only thing he has to offer to his red meat base,” said Mr Glosser.
“He was elected….in large part, because he was willing to stir up and divide, and to stir up ethnic hatreds and fears and anxieties about so-called invaders.”
This is not the first time Mr Glosser has denounced his nephew’s policies. Last year, he wrote a piece for Politico headlined “Stephen Miller is an immigration hypocrite. I know because I’m his uncle.”
In the article, he said Mr Miller’s families were refugees from Belarus. He wrote: “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
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