As President Donald Trump roils the capital over illegal immigration, his influential aide Stephen Miller is playing a more aggressive behind-the-scenes role in a wider administration shakeup.
Frustrated by the lack of headway on a signature Trump campaign issue, the senior White House adviser has been arguing for personnel changes to bring in more like-minded hardliners, according to three people familiar with the situation — including the ouster of a key immigration official at the Department of Homeland Security, whose secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced Sunday that she is resigning.
Miller has been telephoning mid-level officials at several federal departments and agencies to demand they do more to stem the influx of immigrants, according to two people familiar with the calls.
The pressure comes as Trump, who forced a government shutdown over his demand for a southern border wall, is again making immigration the central theme of his presidency; last week, Trump backed off his threats to shut down the border entirely.
The officials at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, who each handle different parts of the immigration process, were initially surprised that a high-ranking White House official like Miller would call them directly, rather than contact their bosses. [Continue reading…]
President Trump moved to sweep out the top ranks of the Department of Homeland Security on Monday, a day after pushing out its secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, accelerating a purge of the nation’s immigration and security leadership.
Government officials said three more top department leaders were expected to leave soon: L. Francis Cissna, the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Randolph D. Alles, the Secret Service director; and John Mitnik, the agency’s general counsel. [Continue reading…]