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Now That Trump Has Ousted Secretary Nielsen, It’s Miller Time

Presidential adviser Stephen Miller showed who holds power over immigration in the White House. It’s not the Homeland Security Secretary.

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller

Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt ouster as Homeland Security Secretary highlights two things about the current state of Donald Trump’s presidency. First, Trump is angry that he isn’t making progress on curbing immigration—migrant families are surging to the southern border in record numbers, and there’s no wall or prospect of getting one—and knows that his reelection could hinge on turning this around. Second, somebody convinced him Nielsen is to blame. 

In Trump’s White House, on matters of immigration, often the person stoking the anger and assigning blame is senior adviser Stephen Miller. Bloomberg News reported this morning that Miller, whose power over immigration policy has recently expanded, complained that Nielsen was “too weak.” Now, she’s gone.