Saturday, February 22, 2020

It's Happening: Trump's Developing Major Shift on Immigration

Immigration haters are not going to like this.

A curious report was put out by the Washington Post yesterday.

The ultimate yes man, White House chief-of-staff Mick Mulvaney, according to the Post, told a crowd at a private gathering in England on Wednesday night that the Trump administration “needs more immigrants” for the U.S. economy to continue growing.

“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mulvaney said. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants,” according to an audio recording obtained by the Bezos rag.

This is a massive flip on Trump administration immigration policy thinking.

Notes the Post:
Mulvaney’s remarks appear in contrast to the public position of several top figures in Trump’s White House — especially that of senior policy adviser Stephen Miller — who have been working to slash legal and illegal immigration through a slew of policies that aim to close off the U.S. border to foreigners...

Mulvaney’s private remarks were more in line with conventional GOP views of immigration as a major engine for the U.S. economy. The White House chief of staff told the crowd of several hundred people at Oxford Union that despite the president’s “anti-immigrant” reputation, his administration wants more foreign workers.

He praised the immigration systems in Canada and Australia and said the Trump administration wants the United States to embrace a model closer to those nations. “We are very interested in expanding that,” he said.
But Mulvaney is not the type to move away from the administration line.

What gives?

There appears to have been a second-tier palace coup at the White House with Jared Kushner taking the lead on immigration policy away from Stephen Miller.

The signal this has occurred, and its ramifications, is a just out via a profile of Miller in the New Yorker by Jonathan Blitzer that is titled, How Stephen Miller Manipulates Donald Trump to Further His Immigration Obsession.

The title of the article alone is surely designed to cause Trump to be wary of Miller. Since Trump doesn't like anyone taking credit for policy or, for that matter, the media giving anyone inside the administration credit other than Trump.

The Atlantic reminds us of what happened when Steve Bannon was in the White House, before he was fired, getting too much credit:
 Trump exalted Bannon early on, but soon felt envious of the praise he was getting. “I’m the one who makes the decisions,” he told The New York Times in November 2016. After Bannon landed on the cover of Time magazine, a space Trump cherishes, he began making critical comments.
The exhaustive 8,000-word essay details the anti-immigrant perspective of Miller and how he has with Machiavellian skill gained control of immigration policy in the Trump administration:
Officials came to think that Miller was territorial; he wanted to be the only immigration expert in the room at all times, and he was willing to undermine like-minded people who might impede his access to the President. 
Here is Blitzer on Miller's latest operation:
 With the border virtually sealed, Miller is turning his attention inward. D.H.S. has begun sending armed agents from Border Patrol swat teams to New York, Chicago, and other so-called sanctuary cities, where local law enforcement has limited its coƶperation with ice. “There’s no one left at D.H.S. to say ‘No’ to Miller anymore,” a senior department official told me. Another official was present at a meeting in which Miller advocated allowing ice officers to pull children out of school.
But this may be Miller's last hurrah.

Towards the end of the profile Blitzer adds this:
At Trump’s behest, Jared Kushner—who was already responsible for negotiating peace in the Middle East, overhauling international trade agreements, and leading the President’s reĆ«lection campaign—has added immigration to his portfolio. “Stephen understands that Kushner is the real power,” a former White House official said. “He would never cross Kushner.”
The Post adds in its reporting:
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, has made similar arguments [to those of Mulvaney] in advocating for giving higher priority to highly skilled immigrants instead of those seeking to reunite with family members already living in the United States. His plan for legal immigration has not received congressional approval and remains unlikely to do so in Trump’s first term, administration officials said.
Hard-line immigration restrictionists want fewer new arrivals — legal and illegal — arguing that immigrants increase wage competition against U.S. workers. Miller and former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon embraced those arguments during the president’s 2016 campaign, which they argued were key to his electoral strategy in Rust Belt states that have suffered from job losses and wage stagnation.
Not surprising,  The Post reports that "Trump has sent mixed signals in his speeches."

Blitzer reports:
[W]henever Trump responded positively to an overture by Democrats, Miller interceded. “Whoever has access to the President last—that’s what sticks,” a White House official told me. “Miller always made sure he was that person.” Graham said, “As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we’re going nowhere.”
The one person who can have the last word on immigration after Miller is Kushner. And thus the turn. But it is not a total turn toward sound economic immigration policy. A policy of favoring in skilled immigrants is still central planning. I explained the problems with this view in a 2017 video, The Problem with Stephen Miller's Immigration Hate.

It discusses many of the problems with Miller's immigration-hate but also touches on the central planning desire for only skilled immigrants (Along with Kushner, Miller seems to be sometimes in favor of this) and why it is anti-growth and anti-free market.

Thus, Kushner has a way to go to become totally free market on immigration but at least he is going in the right direction. And the start of the sabotaging of the immigrant hater Miller is a good thing to see.



  1. The New "Public Charge" rule kicks in this Monday. Will become very hard to immigrate in the U.S. now. Miller's brainchild.

  2. "“We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants,” "

    Hardly. If that were the case, then salaries would be getting bid up a great deal. But that is not happening. So, the reason for immigration is to prevent that bid up from happening or even drive wages and salaries down.

  3. Wenzel lines up perfectly with rich republican donors. F*ck the middle class man. All hail the bottom line. Trump lied to the 60+ million people who voted for him; about most everything. He is a typical BS artist, pots and pans man. Bait and switch is his MO. It simply amazes me that so many of his cult followers continue to drink the Jonestown Tonic.