New Lawsuit Seeks Information on Stephen Miller’s Involvement in Public Charge Rule

On Wednesday, American Oversight filed a lawsuit to investigate White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller’s influence on the development of the recently enacted “public charge” rule, which allows immigration officials more power to deny green card or visa applications from people they deem likely to use public assistance.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the Trump administration’s public charge rule to take effect while the appeals case is resolved, denying legal immigrants who are seeking citizenship status or permanent residency the ability to use public assistance programs. This is the latest in the Trump administration’s efforts to codify a hardline anti-immigrant agenda — a hardline agenda that has been notably pushed by Miller.

Reporting on Stephen Miller has revealed that he has installed a network of allies across the federal government, such as ICE official Jon Feere, who previously worked at an anti-immigration think tank designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Miller himself has long-standing ties to far-right groups, and more than 80 members of Congress have called for Miller’s resignation.

Today’s lawsuit follows several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that were filed by American Oversight beginning in November 2019. The requests ask for email communications between Miller and his staff and key officials at the Departments of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, as well as at the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services. These agencies will be affected by the public charge rule, and their failure to provide final responses to the requests prompted Wednesday’s lawsuit.

“The administration’s inhumane immigration policies have Stephen Miller’s fingerprints all over them, but the full extent of his influence and the intent behind it remains unknown,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “Stephen Miller and his network across the administration should know that their machinations will not remain secret forever.”

This lawsuit builds upon American Oversight’s investigation into Miller’s enduring influence in the Trump administration. We’ve compiled a timeline of Miller’s activities throughout his time at the White House, beginning in January 2017, and have been investigating the Trump administration’s increasingly cruel steps to quell immigration, from its efforts to undermine sanctuary cities to family separation

The full complaint can be found here.

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