- Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s nativist adviser, tried to devise a plan that would keep immigrant children living in the US illegally from attending public schools, Bloomberg reported.
- He eventually gave up after being told it would violate a 1982 Supreme Court ruling, Bloomberg said.
- This month, the White House issued a Miller-devised strategy to deny permanent residency to immigrants deemed likely to use food stamps, Medicaid, or housing assistance.
- The Trump administration already targets schools that accept unauthorised immigrants by permitting Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest parents dropping their kids off.
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The White House adviser Stephen Miller spent months trying to figure out how to bar immigrant children living in the US illegally from attending public schools, according to Bloomberg.
Miller, an immigration hard-liner who pushes nativist policies within President Donald Trump’s administration, wanted to circumvent Congress by figuring out whether there was a way states could be allowed to turn away unauthorised immigrants from schools, Bloomberg reported. A 2014 Pew Research Center study cited by Bloomberg found that 1.3% of students in US public and private schools were living in the country illegally.
He ultimately abandoned the idea, Bloomberg reported, after being told the idea would violate the Supreme Court’s ruling in Plyler v. Doe, a case from 1982 that struck down a Texas law denying public-school access for unauthorised immigrants.
This month, the Trump administration issued a new Miller-designed strategy to crack down on unauthorised immigrants. The new rule would deny permanent residency to immigrants who the Department of Homeland Security finds “more likely than not” to use food stamps, Medicaid, or housing assistance. The rule has outraged Democrats, has been denounced by public-health experts, and is already being tested in federal court.
The Trump administration already has policies in place designed to make it more difficult for those living in the US illegally to attend schools. Under Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has authorised Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest parents dropping off their kids at school. Many schools also have had to develop procedures to find care for children whose parents are arrested by ICE and are left without a guardian. Following ICE raids, children sometimes stay home out of fear of being arrested; more than 200 students stayed home earlier this month after a major ICE raid in Mississippi.
Frank Sharry, the head of America’s Voice, an immigration-rights group, told Bloomberg he was alarmed that the Trump administration would punish children as part of its immigration policy.
“Such a radical policy change would be unlawful, unacceptable, and un-American,” Sharry said. “The notion that we should punish little kids who go to school and pledge allegiance to our flag because Trump and Miller want to make America white again is incredibly cruel, dark, and sinister.”
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- The Trump administration’s new green-card rule could be ‘a backdoor’ to immigration reform, experts say
- Stephen Miller tried to engineer another shakeup at Homeland Security just weeks after he urged Trump to fire Kirstjen Nielsen. The new acting secretary shut him down.
- Trump’s acting immigration chief was part of a group that called immigrants ‘invaders’ and blamed them for diseases and terrorism