Kushner vs. Miller: Inside the War to Determine the Future of Trump’s Immigration Policy
President Donald Trump is dealing with an unprecedented immigration crisis as the national emergency at the US southern border shows no signs of slowing, and he is showing signs that he is moving back to the Right on this crucial issue.
Recent stories have indicated that hardliner Stephen Miller is once again gaining power in the administration. The senior adviser is said to be behind Trump’s recent shift, which has reportedly resulted in the withdrawal of Ronald Vitiello as the new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Department of Homeland Security secretary.
Miller’s greatest opposition to ‘America First’ policy goals will be Jared Kushner, Trump’s other senior adviser and son-in-law who has been pushing Trump in the direction of bringing in more foreigner workers. Kushner has been influential in inviting the foxes into the hen house to dictate Trump’s immigration policy.
“I need people coming in because we need people to run the factories and plants and companies that are moving back in. We need people,” Trump said to reporters back in February, showing that the Kushner push was clearly influencing him.
While Kushner focuses his time on wooing the corporate elite, Miller remains much more skeptical of these interests pushing for cheap labor. He remains focused on nationalist goals that will help US workers above all else.
“This is about sovereignty. It’s about working men and women. It’s about safe communities. It’s about wages, living conditions, quality of life. This is the battle right now right before our very eyes,” Miller said during an appearance on FOX News last year.
Despite the policy differences, Miller and Kushner remain cordial to each other as they work in Trump’s White House, doing their part to make sure that any disagreements they may have do not hold back the administration.
“Any suggestion that Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller have anything but a cordial and professional relationship would be misplaced,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the House Freedom Caucus leader, to the Washington Post. “Over and over, I’ve seen them work together on policy issues and deep deliberations that have the potential for being contentious, but there is mutual respect.”
But certain observers think that the friendliness isn’t likely to last long with the 2020 presidential election looming and time running out to achieve results on the border.
“The clock is ticking on all this stuff,” said a former Trump official who is still connected to the White House to McClatchy DC. “There is no way that Stephen can continue to push a very hard right restrictionist policy and for Jared to be pushing a middle-of-the-road, slightly left of center policy, and something doesn’t come in conflict.”
Trump will ultimately have to decide the fate of his immigration policy when it is all said and done. If Miller wins out, an ‘America First’ immigration policy is possible. If Kushner wins out, it will be back to the Chamber of Koch open border status quo.