Why Is Stephen Miller Free?
As the architect of Trump's family separation (i.e. torture) policy, Miller committed crimes against humanity.
As Donald Trump’s senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller engineered one of the most heinous policies in recent U.S. history, systematically ripping migrant families apart to punish them for seeking a better life.
Stealing a child from a mother or father is one of the most acute forms of torture imaginable. The last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor called it a crime against humanity: “We list crimes against humanity in the Statute of the International Criminal Court. We have ‘other inhumane acts designed to cause great suffering’. What could cause more great suffering than what they did in the name of immigration law?”
Although I’m focusing on Miller’s so-called “zero-tolerance” policy, it’s worth noting that Democratic and Republican administrations have both been guilty of committing egregious human rights abuses at the border. Barack Obama was dubbed the “deporter in chief” for the surge in deportations during his presidency. In 2015, the ACLU slammed the Obama administration for using family detention as a deterrent.
The Obama administration doubled down on one of its worst immigration legacies: the return and expansion of family detention. Responding to a court order holding that its family detention camps violated the 1997 Flores settlement agreement, the Obama administration again defended family detention as necessary to send a message to Central American families that they are not welcome here—even though it concedes that most of them are fleeing persecution.
Joe Biden and his Democratic colleagues have been virtual carbon copies of Trump, funding ICE at Trump-era levels, reinstating and expanding Trump’s atrocious “Remain in Mexico” policy, and continuing to use Title 42 to expel asylum-seekers. Each of these politicians, Republican and Democrat, should face consequences for their despicable treatment of migrants, though it’s unlikely they ever will.
Miller, in particular, seemed to revel in cruelty and xenophobia. The policy he masterminded under Trump was depraved:
All migrant families at the border, even those who lawfully presented themselves at official ports of entry as refugees seeking asylum, were to be detained in separate facilities. Children were to be immediately taken from their parents and detained in separate facilities, sometimes hundreds of miles apart, with no knowledge of where their parents were and no contact with their parents.
Miller’s cruelty prompted his uncle to write a scathing op-ed saying, “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
In an interview with Salon, author Jean Guerrero (who wrote a book about Trump and Miller), explained that Miller “does a really good job of laundering white supremacist ideas through the language of ‘heritage’ and ‘economics’ and ‘national security.’”
So why is Miller walking free after designing and implementing a policy of child torture?
And why is the Biden administration perpetuating Miller’s crimes?
The answer is that our two-party system is corrupt and monstrous. The ruling elites protect their own, so war criminals and child torturers sign book deals and play pundit instead of spending their days in a prison cell. We should never stop speaking out about these criminals. And we should never let ourselves become numb to the suffering of their victims.