The Trump administration's hardline immigration measures — including the zero-tolerance policy that has caused the separation of migrant children and parents at the border — are largely a product of the White House immigration czar, Stephen Miller.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Miller used to work for, formalized the policy and carried it out.
As Trump's immigration adviser, Miller authored the administration's deeply controversial travel bans (There have been three revisions of the policy, and the legality of the last is currently under consideration by the US Supreme Court).
That order — and the harsh immigration policies Miller has been behind since — are perfectly in line with what Miller has talking about since he was 16 years old.
According to people who went to Santa Monica High School with Miller, the Trump aide made a name for himself touting his conservative views.
"Stephen's whole view of immigration stems from high school," Adrian Karima, who sat two desks away from Miller in AP Government, told CNN last year. "His negative views of immigration started in high school and just grew over time."
In March 2002, Miller, then age 16, wrote a lengthy opinion editorial for the Santa Monica Lookout that argued "very few, if any, Hispanic students" make it to honors classes because the school provides a "crutch" to those who don't speak English by ensuring "all announcements are written in both Spanish and English."
After high school, Miller attended Duke University, where he again became an outspoken conservative voice. Writing for the Duke Chronicle, Miller, who is Jewish, penned articles about...
- The war on Christmas ("Christmas is being banned")
- Immigration ("We oppose common-sense security measures. We give driver's licenses to illegal aliens")
- Multiculturalism ("As we obsess over, adulate and extol the non-American cultures we ignore the culture we all hold in common").
After college, Miller worked for then-Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. John Shadegg and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. Miller helped Sessions become the most outspoken critic of the 2013 bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.
Miller has been with Trump since January 2016 and served as his hype man for much of the primary and general election.