White House senior adviser Stephen Miller echoed white nationalist rhetoric to advocate for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall during a rare television appearance on Sunday.
Miller told CBS’ Margaret Brennan that Trump is “absolutely” willing to shut down the government this week if he doesn’t receive funding for his border wall, calling it “a fundamental issue” that will determine “whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country.”
Trump has also claimed immigration threatens American “sovereignty” in numerous tweets since becoming president.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2018
We are a great Sovereign Nation. We have Strong Borders and will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
In more and more places throughout this region, citizens of SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT nations have taken greater control of their destinies, and unlocked the potential of their people. #APEC2017 pic.twitter.com/a570IIGe0I
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2017
Miller, 33, has not done many on-camera interviews since a disastrous January appearance on CNN, after which he refused to leave the studio, and had to be escorted out of the building by security.
After that stormy episode, he was scolded by host Jake Tapper, who reportedly told him, “This is the reason they don’t put you on TV.”
During Sunday’s less eventful appearance on Face The Nation, Miller blamed “left-wing activist judicial rulings” and “reckless, lawless interventions of district court judges” for the hardline immigration policies that the administration says it had to put in place.
He also spoke about the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, the seven-year-old girl who died of dehydration this month while in the custody of Customs and Border Control, calling it “a painful reminder of the ongoing humanitarian tragedy that is illegal immigration, and the misery that it spreads.”
Despite Miller’s suggestion that immigrants — including the undocumented — are responsible for more “misery” and presumably criminality, statistics show they are, in fact, less likely to commit crimes than native-born American citizens.