Former President Trump’s immigration advisor Stephen Miller predicted that a second Trump term would include more strict policies against immigration, calling for a “spectacular migration crackdown.”
“Any activists who doubt President Trump’s resolve in the slightest are making a drastic error: Trump will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown,” Miller told The New York Times. “The immigration legal activists won’t know what’s happening.”
Miller served as a speechwriter for the former president and led the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which included a massive uptick in deportations and constructing parts of a promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Trump administration relied mostly on executive orders to implement immigration policy, especially crackdowns on so-called “sanctuary cities” and the limiting or total suspension of legal immigration from a number of mostly-Muslim countries.
The Times reported that in a possible second term, the Trump team plans to double down on those actions, including unprecedented roundups of undocumented immigrants already inside the U.S.
Those roundups would include the construction of massive detainment camps to keep undocumented immigrants and expedited legal hearings, funded by the military budget in order to get around Congressional approval, the Times reported.
Trump has previously lauded President Eisenhower’s 1954 deportation scheme dubbed “Operation Wetback,” now generally considered as a racist program which indiscriminately targeted Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the U.S., and pledged to base his policies on it.
The former president and some allies have also endorsed ending the concept of birthright citizenship, which constitutional scholars have argued is unequivocally enshrined in the 14th Amendment.
Immigration and criminal justice advocate Todd Schulte, the president of FWD.us, said the Trump’s plans rely on “xenophobic demagoguery” that appeals to the former president’s most conservative and most anti-immigration voter base.
“Americans should understand these policy proposals are an authoritarian, often illegal, agenda that would rip apart nearly every aspect of American life — tanking the economy, violating the basic civil rights of millions of immigrants and native-born Americans alike,” Schulte told The Times.
Immigration has remained a key issue of political importance since Trump left office in 2021, and is expected to remain a priority on the 2024 presidential campaign trail.
Following a drop in border crossings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, illegal crossings have since increased drastically in the last year. Border Patrol made about 220,000 encounters along the southern border in September, according to department data, a 15 percent increase from the previous month.