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Did Stephen Miller Push For Family Separation To Deliberately Stir Controversy?

Is Stephen Miller’s proclivity to stir up controversy and “trigger libs” behind the Trump administration’s policy to separate families?

An Atlantic profile last month dug into his propensity for inciting controversy and the role that may play in family separation policy.

In a previous interview with the Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, Miller said that he had seen “value” in “constructive controversy—with the purpose of enlightenment.” Coppins wrote that Miller is motivated not to persuade the public of his opinions, but to “agitate” them instead.

As Coppins noted in his original interview with Miller, the White House advisor has long been a hardline immigration “restrictionist.” As an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2013, Miller worked voraciously to oppose a bipartisan immigration reform bill. And as Vox noted, Miller designed the original travel ban, another equally controversial measure that engendered massive protests.

Coppins suggested that the controversy, which is sweeping social media and drawing nationwide protests, is not a deterrent for Miller, but rather one of his aims: “For Miller, the public outrage and anger elicited by policies like forced family separation are a feature, not a bug.”

Miller has retained a hardline stance on the issue of family separation, and is looking towards an even harsher crackdown on immigration.

“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement,” Miller said in an interview with the New York Times.

Even as criticism and opposition to the family separation policy grows, Politico reported that Miller and other aides have been planning increased immigration raids and other actions in the lead-up to the 2018 midterms.

Juliana Kaplan is a news intern at The Forward. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter, @julianamkaplan

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