Guest Host: Todd Zwillich

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall in November 2018.

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall in November 2018.

Just over a year ago, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that increased the frequency of families being separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

That led to a cascade of outrage from both sides of the aisle, and the Trump administration eventually walked the policy back.

But the administration failed to reunite some children with their families (including some of those who were separated before the “zero-tolerance” policy was implemented). In addition, it has continued to separate families from the children with whom they cross the border.

Now, Kirstjen Nielsen, the Department of Homeland Security secretary who led the “zero-tolerance” enforcement, has stepped down.

One person who has remained in the administration throughout? Immigration hardliner Stephen Miller, who is reportedly playing an influential role in staffing decisions.

Here’s more from Politico:

Miller also has been pushing for Trump to fire Lee Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who has overseen implementation of some of the administration’s lesser-known immigration policies, including green card reforms and changes to how the federal government processes and admits refugees.

“He’s actively trying to put in place people who have very different points of view than the current leadership within the agencies,” said a former DHS official familiar with Miller’s efforts. “His idea is basically [to] clean house.”

What’s ahead for the Department of Homeland Security and for President Trump’s immigration agenda?


  • Alayna Treene White House reporter for Axios; @alaynatreene
  • Daniel Griswold Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director, Trade & Immigration Project, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; @DanielGriswold

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