Weeks before Donald Trump kicked off his purge of Department of Homeland Security leadership, his white nationalist immigration adviser lost his temper at some of those same officials. Stephen Miller was seething over the fact that it’s difficult and time-consuming to strip migrant children of court-ordered protections and to deny immigrants welfare benefits, and blamed acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Ronald Vitiello.
“You ought to be working on this regulation all day every day,” Miller shouted, according to two meeting participants who spoke to the New York Times. “It should be the first thought you have when you wake up. And it should be the last thought you have before you go to bed. And sometimes you shouldn’t go to bed.” Miller has also lost his temper at officials because most asylum-seekers pass the first step “credible fear” interview and those officials resisted Miller’s pressure to change the results by violating the law. And on immigration, Miller speaks for Trump.
Fast forward a few weeks from Miller’s “you shouldn’t go to bed” tantrum, and Trump has withdrawn Vitiello’s nomination to be the full, non-acting ICE head, while Kirstjen Nielsen has been forced out as Homeland Security secretary, the acting deputy secretary is gone, and the head of the Secret Service is on his way out, while other officials are on thin ice. These are anti-immigrant extremists, mind you—their sin is largely that they dragged their feet on breaking laws to persecute immigrants. And Miller is the guy helping Trump put his own law-breaking impulses into action.