Immigration Battle Zone: Trump’s State Secretary Clashes With White House

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State Secretary Rex Tillerson

People familiar with the matter said Trump’s State Secretary Rex Tillerson had an argument with the president’s senior aide Stephen Miller over immigration policies in a second recent dispute with the White House.

Tillerson Having ‘Tense’ Discussion with Top White House Aide

Sources claim Miller wants Tillerson’s State Department to change the immigration programs they oversee and to be tougher on immigration. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reportedly witnessed the heated exchange.

Two officials in the West Wing labeled the discussion as “tense” even though Tillerson didn’t yell at Miller as he did with the Director of Presidential Personnel John DeStefano the same day. Tillerson and DeStefano argued over a different topic, sources said.

The State Secretary made it “quite clear” that he wants autonomy when it comes to immigration. The White House declined to reply to a request for comment on the incident, while Miller has yet to reply to a similar request.

Miller is currently trying to reduce the admission of refugees in the United States and has been working relentlessly with Republicans in Congress on bills to impact legal immigration.

Trump’s Travel Ban No Longer on Hold

Last Monday, the Supreme Court gave the green light to Trump’s travel ban, a piece of legislation backed by Miller, reversing the blocks from lower courts. Under the ban, U.S. authorities are allowed to ask some refugees to return home and prevent travelers from six overwhelmingly Muslim countries from entering the country. The top court will hear arguments against the ban in the fall.

Last week, CNN found that the White House plans to move two of Tillerson’s department’s biggest functions – the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and Bureau of Consular Affairs – to the Department of Homeland Security. These two immigration arms are issuing passports and vetting refugees.

Sources also say that Tillerson is furious about taking orders from younger White House aides and not being able to run the State Department as he would like.
Image Source: usembassy.gov

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