Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion hard­liner could clash with Kush­ner

The Tribune (SLO) - - News - BY FRANCO ORDOÑEZ for­[email protected]­clatchydc.com

WASH­ING­TON

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s choice of Stephen Miller to lead on im­mi­gra­tion sets up a po­ten­tial pol­icy clash with one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in the White House, the pres­i­dent’s son-in-law.

The move comes as Trump, fo­cused on chal­lenges in se­cur­ing the bor­der, sent Jared Kush­ner back to the draw­ing board to de­velop new ideas on im­mi­gra­tion re­form af­ter be­ing un­sat­is­fied with the re­sults of an ini­tial pro­posal for a le­gal im­mi­gra­tion frame­work, ac­cord­ing to two sources fa­mil­iar with the talks.

It’s the lat­est power shift in just a few months af­ter Kush­ner, who is mar­ried to Trump’s daugh­ter Ivanka, had emerged as the new fig­ure­head try­ing to come up with a plan to fix the le­gal im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem fol­low­ing his suc­cess on crim­i­nal jus­tice legislation.

“The clock is tick­ing on all this stuff,” said a for­mer Trump of­fi­cial who re­mains in con­tact with peo­ple in­side the White House. “There is no way that Stephen can con­tinue to push a very hard right re­stric­tion­ist pol­icy and for Jared to be push­ing a mid­dle-of-the-road, slightly left of cen­ter pol­icy, and some­thing doesn’t come in con­flict.”

The ten­sion comes as the pres­i­dent purges his top home­land se­cu­rity of­fi­cials and prom­ises to take a tougher ap­proach on the bor­der with Mex­ico in the build up to the 2020 cam­paign sea­son.

“We have the worst laws of any coun­try any­where in the world, whether it’s catch and re­lease or any one of them,” Trump said Tues­day. “I mean, I could name — I could sit here and name them, but if you got rid of catch and re­lease, chain mi­gra­tion, visa lot­tery — you have to fix the asy­lum sit­u­a­tion; it’s ridicu­lous. You have peo­ple com­ing in, claim­ing asy­lum.”

The Kush­ner team is ex­pected to try and de­velop a new pro­posal on le­gal im­mi­gra­tion re­form, but Trump was clearly frus­trated with the orig­i­nal le­gal im­mi­gra­tion pro­posal and felt strongly that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fo­cus needed to be on bor­der se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to two sources fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sions.

“They had the meeting. The pre­sen­ta­tion was made,” said a source fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sion. “He (Trump) be­came frus­trated. He’s very frus­trated over the bor­der cri­sis also. And he felt that what made it to his desk was just not good enough and not what he wanted to do. He’s very vexed by this bor­der cri­sis and saw that he needed to give clearer di­rec­tion. The idea is they’re go­ing to put to­gether some­thing that can be­come a theme for the ad­min­is­tra­tion go­ing for­ward to re­elec­tion.”

An­other source fa­mil­iar with the meeting said the new plan is more in line with “Trump’s pro-worker agenda.”

“Af­ter meeting last week things are mov­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion of im­mi­gra­tion in­creases, be­trayal of cam­paign prom­ises,” said the per­son fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sion.

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