Politics

Democrats Turn Their Sights To Stephen Miller As Trump Mulls Stricter Immigration Action

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

A growing number of House Democrats are targeting White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and his influence on the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.

“Steve Miller, who seems to be the boss of everybody on immigration, ought to come before Congress and explain some of these policies,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday, according to The Washington Post. Nadler, whom President Donald Trump refers to as “fat Jerry,” is one of several House Democrats who have criticized the administration’s latest immigration proposal.

The White House, on more than one occasion, pushed the Department of Homeland Security on an idea that consisted of bussing illegal immigrants and dropping them off in cities that refuse to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — otherwise known as “sanctuary cities.” Miller reportedly pitched the proposal.

The firestorm that followed reports of the proposal has generated more focus on Miller, a close Trump confidant since the 2016 election. The California native has been behind a number of the president’s most notable immigration policies, such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the travel ban against numerous Muslim-majority countries and the “zero tolerance policy.”

House Democrats might call on Miller to testify in a House committee.

Kathleen Rice, the chairwoman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on border security, facilities and operations, argues the senior adviser must appear at her panel to “make his case for these terrible policies to the American people instead of being this shadow puppeteer.”

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Stephen Miller talks to reporters about President Donald Trump's support for creating a 'merit-based immigration system' in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House August 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law placing new sanctions on Russia and reducing his ability to lift the sanctions on Moscow. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Stephen Miller talks to reporters about President Donald Trump’s support for creating a ‘merit-based immigration system’ in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House August 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It’s clear that he’s the one pulling the strings,” Rice, a Democratic representative from New York, said. “And if he’s going to continue advocating for these policies and personnel changes, then he needs to come before the American people and explain himself. He has to be held accountable.” (RELATED: White House Reportedly Mulling Immigration Hardliner For Top DHS Position)

However, it’s not certain that committee chairmen in the Democratic-controlled House can force Miller to the microphone.

Lawmakers do not typically call on White House advisers to testify before Congress, and presidents are able to cite constitutional separation of powers when declining to allow their executives be made available to committees.

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