White House senior adviser Stephen Miller merged his dual-pronged obsession with immigrants and crime through “off-the-record observation[s]” he provided to Breitbart News about violence against Americans from illegal immigrants.
The fourth installment of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch series on Miller’s far-right rantings hones in on his leaked Breitbart emails which paint immigration as an “us or them” racial battle. Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh’s latest batch of leaked emails while working at her former employer show how Miller directly influenced the conservative website’s anti-immigration narrative and painted all immigrants as criminals.
Miller accused the Obama administration of casually releasing “convicted criminal aliens” from U.S. custody and amped up fears about migrants that have directed his own policy pushes as President Donald Trump’s in-house immigration czar.
“It has never been easier in American history for illegal aliens to commit crimes of violence against Americans,” Miller claimed in a January 5, 2016 email to Breitbart, touting one of his many “off-the-record” observations.
December 2015 emails between Miller and Breitbart’s McHugh promote crimes committed by Latin American and Muslim immigrants, including a New Jersey arrest of an undocumented immigrant suspected of sexually abusing a child. Miller’s observations targeting illegal immigrants have been debunked across bipartisan publications and through government reports.
“There are SO many of these stories out there,” McHugh told Miller. “[Each one more disturbing than the next,” Miller replied.
A legal settlement between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Department of Homeland Security allowing immigrants with mental illnesses to reopen cases prompted Miller to remark, “Illegals with mental diseases, psychopathy, coming back to USA … Don’t believe your lying eyes and those liars in law enforcement.”
Emails between McHugh, Miller and then-Breitbart chief editor Steve Bannon show them expressing shock at “the number of foreign-born terrorists in the United States on visas we handed out … The U.S. has been taking in Muslim refugees for decades, without any kind of pause or assimilation effort, creating huge pockets of radicalization.”
Miller, a then-aide to Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions made it clear in 2015 and later on Trump’s campaign in 2016 that his anti-immigrant narrative could also be used to attack other Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio, who was Trump’s rival in the GOP presidential primary. As was noted in the last SPLC Hatewatch installment, Miller and Breitbart both blasted Rubio as a “liar” and dishonestly painted him as a supporter of “open borders.”
While Miller scoured through violent crime stories about Muslims, Latinos and other minorities, he made no mention of white nationalist crimes like the June 2015 mass murder by Dylann Roof committed during the same period.
After a December 2015 ISIS-inspired shooting in San Bernardino, California, Miller complained that one of the suspects was a U.S. citizen and went on to argue he was actually an “anchor baby.”
The White House has responded to Hatewatch’s reporting on the leaked Miller emails by labeling the SPLC an “utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization.” The Trump administration has not denied that the emails were truly sent by the Trump adviser, but Jewish organizations have called on Trump to fire Miller, who is Jewish, for the white supremacist views detailed in the leaked emails.