Trump to Tighten Immigration, Entry Standards if Reelected, Senior Adviser Says

Trump to Tighten Immigration, Entry Standards if Reelected, Senior Adviser Says
President Donald Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller waves to supporters prior to a Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 6, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek
President Donald Trump’s administration, if he is reelected, will toughen its stance on immigration and entry into the United States with the aim of protecting the wages and safety of Americans, a senior adviser to the president told NBC News in an interview on Oct. 29.

Stephen Miller, who noted that his remarks were being made only in his capacity as campaign adviser, said Trump’s second-term immigration agenda would involve “raising and enhancing the standard for entry” into the United States and cracking down on illegal immigration, including by tighter restrictions on work visas, stricter visa application screenings, banning “sanctuary cities,” and limiting the number of people granted asylum.

He said the measures would be accomplished through a combination of executive actions and legislation.

“In many cases, fixing these problems and restoring some semblance of sanity to our immigration programs does involve regulatory reform,” Miller said. “Congress has delegated a lot of authority ... and that underscores the depth of the choice facing the American people.”

Miller said that lifting the freeze on new green cards and visas, which is set to expire at the end of the year, would proceed only if a government analysis, which would include evaluating the state of the labor market, would support such a move.

Regarding asylum, Miller said the Trump administration would look to expand the current burden-sharing arrangements with a handful of Central American countries more broadly, in a bid to further stem the flow of asylum-seekers into the United States.

“The president would like to expand that to include the rest of the world,” Miller said. “And so, if you create safe third partners in other continents and other countries and regions, then you have the ability to share the burden of asylum-seekers on a global basis.”

He said a second-term Trump administration would seek to crack down on “sanctuary cities” and related policies with initiatives that include making it a crime for authorities not to turn over illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

Miller said another administration objective would be to implement enhanced screening standards for people seeking to come to the United States, including by vetting the “ideological sympathies or leanings” of visa applicants to assess their potential for recruitment by radicals.

A second-term Trump administration would also seek to adjust the policies that govern guest-worker programs such as H-1B visas, including by prioritizing higher-wage applicants and doing away with a randomized, lottery-based system for granting such visas.

In his 2016 bid for the White House, Trump vowed to restrict immigration and illegal entry into the United States, including by expanding the border wall with Mexico, and has implemented a range of related policies while in office. The Department of Homeland Security on Oct. 29 announced that 400 miles of new border wall had been completed during Trump’s term.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to stop border wall construction if elected. The Biden campaign responded to Miller’s remarks, with Biden’s Latino media director Jennifer Molina telling NBC, “We are going to win this election so that people like Stephen Miller don’t get the chance to write more xenophobic policies that dishonor our American values.”