Monday, January 30, 2017

Hill Staffers Secretly Worked on Trump's Immigration Order

Hill staffers secretly worked on Trump's immigration order - POLITICO "Top aides to Donald Trump quietly worked with senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee to draft the executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed, according to multiple sources involved in the process."

The work of the aides began during the transition period after the election and before Trump was sworn in.

Their work on the executive order meant the small group of staffers — conservative immigration hard-liners who, sources say, are close with attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — were among the only people on Capitol Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy.

GOP leaders, however, received no advance warning or briefings from the White House or Judiciary staff on what the executive order would do or how it would be implemented — briefings they still had not received as of Sunday night. Leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saw the final language only when reporters received it Friday night, according to multiple Hill sources.

Insiders told POLITICO that the botched rollout of the immigration executive order was coordinated for the most part by White House policy director Stephen Miller, a former Sessions staffer, and Trump senior strategist Steve Bannon.

No real surprise. Miller worked for Sessions. Both fed news stories to Bannon's Breitbart. All are immigration (not just "illegal immigration" but "immigration") hardliners. Bannon really just believes in a Eurocentric America. So they crafted all of this, Trump just let them run with it, and they tried to get their extreme views through (I assume they knew what they were doing with the green card holders). So far they've mostly succeeded, we'll see if it sticks and how many bridges they've burned.

Update: The LA Times writes White House aides who wrote Trump's travel ban see it as just the start.

Trump’s top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.

The chief architects of Trump’s order, Bannon, Miller and National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn, forged strong bonds during the presidential campaign.

The trio, who make up part of Trump’s inner circle, have a dark view of refugee and immigration flows from majority-Muslim countries, believing that if large numbers of Muslims are allowed to enter the U.S., parts of American cities will begin to replicate disaffected and disenfranchised immigrant neighborhoods in France, Germany and Belgium that have been home to perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years.

Within decades, Americans would have “the kind of large and permanent domestic terror threat that becomes multidimensional and multigenerational and becomes sort of a permanent feature,” one senior administration official argued.

“We don’t want a situation where, 20 to 30 years from now, it’s just like a given thing that on a fairly regular basis there is domestic terror strikes, stores are shut up or that airports have explosive devices planted, or people are mowed down in the street by cars and automobiles and things of that nature,” the official said.

Counter-terrorism experts have long noted that Muslim immigrants in the U.S. are better assimilated and less likely to be radicalized than immigrants in many European cities.

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