Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller blamed left-wing, activist judicial rulings” for incentivizing the “most vulnerable populations to come to our country,” and he argued that played a role in the tragic death of a seven-year-old girl in Border Patrol custody on December 7.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: –you’re a key voice on, and that is immigration and also want to talk about the possible shutdown here. One very particular case here, this seven year old migrant girl who passed away. She was a migrant from Guatemala named Jakelin Caal. She died some hours after passing into U.S. territory while she was under the protection of Customs and Border Patrol. Who bears responsibility for her death?
MILLER: Our hearts break for the tragic death of the 7 year old girl. The loss of that precious life is. Horrifying. It is a painful reminder of the ongoing humanitarian tragedy that is illegal immigration and the misery that it spreads. A coyote dropped off one hundred sixty three migrants in an extremely remote section of New Mexico. Those individuals were found by border patrol who, many cases act as first responders. In fact Border Patrol saves about 4,000 lives every single year. Unfortunately hundreds die on the dangerous trek up. Smuggling organizations profit off death and misery. They are vicious, vile organizations. And it’s time that both parties had the appropriate level of outrage over the fact that these organizations–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Border patrol though says–
MILLER: –continue to take advantage
MARGARET BRENNAN: it wasn’t adequately equipped to deal with the record number of families coming across. Why aren’t they?
MILLER: One of the great tragedies that is going on in our country today is the loopholes in our immigration laws and the deficiencies in our immigration laws. And left wing, activist judicial rulings that incentivize the most vulnerable populations to come to our country. Last year–
MARGARET BRENNAN: And the administration–
MILLER: –a hundred thousand–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –hasn’t been able to deter them from making that trip.
MILLER: –last year- last year- a hundred thousand unaccompanied alien children or children traveling with adults showed up at our southern border.
MILLER: President Trump took dramatic action, issued an executive order directing illegal traffic to the ports of entry, but a left wing, activist judge issued a reckless nationwide injunction on the president’s order putting thousands of lives at risk and further enriching these grotesque–
MARGARET BRENNAN: And a- a record number–
MILLER: –heinous, smuggle organizations.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –continue to cross. I want to quickly get to–
MILLER: The only way to-
MARGARET BRENNAN: –because we’re going to run out of time–
MILLER: The only way–
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to get to this question the border wall which I know you’re a huge advocate for. We are about five days from a potential government shutdown and Republican leadership says there’s no plan. What is the president’s plan and will he shut it down to get this 5 billion in border wall funding?
MILLER: We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration–
MARGARET BRENNAN: And that means a shutdown?
MILLER: This is a- this is a very- if it comes to it, absolutely. This is a very fundamental issue. At stake is the question of whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country. Whether or not we can establish and enforce rules for entrance into our country. The Democrat Party has a simple choice, they can either choose to fight for America’s working class or to promote illegal immigration. You can’t do both.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there wiggle room on that 5 billion?
MILLER: I’m not going to negotiate the details on air with you right now–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Senator Schumer–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –said this morning you’re not getting the border wall in any form.
MILLER: If the- If the Democrat Party–
MARGARET BRENNAN: In any form.
MILLER: –wants to. If the Democrat Party wants to go down the road of continuing to preserve a model that enriches smuggling organizations, that spreads misery on both sides of the border, that kills 300 Americans a week through heroin overdoses alone. By the way, illegal heroin costs our country two hundred and thirty billion dollars–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –you’re, you’re–
MILLER: –every single year.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –talking about the intent of these migrants and-and trying to stop that, which really gets you more to the diplomatic issues of why people are fleeing in the first place, not the border wall itself but–
MILLER: –the largest increases–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –when it comes to the shutdown–
MILLER: –the largest increases–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –are we going to have a shutdown over Christmas?
MILLER: As you yourself acknowledged, the largest increases in illegal immigration are categories that are incentivized by loopholes in our laws and loopholes created by activist left-wing judges including–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –I didn’t say that.
MILLER: –including the district court judge who enjoined–
MARGARET BRENNAN: I said there are a record number happening right now in the Trump Administration.
MILLER: –in the categories that correspond with these loopholes and the interventions- reckless, lawless interventions of district court judges. And this president has taken historic action to stem the tide of illegal immigration and to fight for working people in this country.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And this is his last best chance to get a border wall before Democrats take the majority?
MILLER: –and we want- we- it’s time that both parties- and this is what the American people want. Both parties to come together for the sake of American children, for the sake of children all across this hemisphere, to create a lawful system of immigration–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
MILLER: –not the lawless chaos–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Stephen–
MILLER: –that has been perpetuated for too many decades.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –it’s good to have you in studio. I want to get to one of the lawmakers who’s going to actually have to do what you’re telling him he has to do.
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