adviser Stephen Miller (copy)

Stephen Miller (left), a 34-year-old White House staffer who is also one of Trump’s main speechwriters, has been crucial in molding the White House’s immigration policy.

“He’s burrowed down into the apparatus to make fundamental change,” Stephen Bannon, the former Trump adviser, told my colleagues earlier this year. “People don’t even see a lot of the stuff he’s working on.”

Bannon was speaking of Stephen Miller, the 34-year-old White House staffer who maintains a curiously firm place within President Donald Trump’s otherwise constantly shifting orbit. Miller’s fingerprints can be detected all over Trump’s presidency. He is, after all, one of Trump’s main speechwriters. But his biggest role has been in molding the White House’s immigration policy, tacitly pushing through a sweeping series of measures — from travel bans on Muslim-majority countries to punitive actions against immigrants who receive public assistance — under Trump’s watch.

Although many advisers have come and gone during Trump’s tumultuous presidency, Miller has endured. That is, until now. Over the past week, more than 100 Democratic lawmakers and some civil society organizations have called for Miller’s resignation in response to new revelations about the depths of his ideological extremism.

A leaked cache of more than 900 emails that Miller allegedly sent to employees at the far-right website Breitbart ahead of the 2016 election appear to show his demonstrated commitment to white-nationalist political beliefs and talking points. Miller “promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing nonprofit that obtained the material from former Breitbart reporter Katie McHugh.

The emails illuminate Miller’s fixation on crimes carried out by immigrants and people of color, as well as his eagerness to push narratives sourced from fringe white-supremacist and conspiracy-theory-peddling websites such as VDARE and Infowars. Miller touted story lines that echoed the far-right vision of “white genocide” — the extremist belief that immigration from other parts of the world poses an immediate and existential threat to the racial integrity of European or Caucasian people, a belief that has motivated the shooters behind some far-right terrorist attacks in recent years.

An alleged email chain from September 2015 — about the time Trump had started campaigning loudly against resettling Syrian refugees in the United States — shows Miller hailing “The Camp of the Saints,” a 1973 dystopian French novel about a flotilla of woebegone Indian migrants threatening to descend upon Europe with their attendant plagues and miseries. The novel is a cult favorite among white nationalists.

“The power of the book comes from the very vivid images of near destruction of the white race, and the absence of resistance from the government,” Cécile Alduy, a professor of French studies at Stanford University, told The New York Times. “The Trump administration’s anti-immigration policy is a direct consequence of taking ‘Camp of the Saints’ as a blue book for governing.”

Though Miller’s hard-line views are no secret, the alleged emails tipped the scales for some in Washington. “It’s clearer than ever that Stephen Miller is a far-right white nationalist with a racist and xenophobic worldview. His beliefs are appalling, indefensible, and completely at odds with public service,” said a group of Democratic lawmakers in a statement that calls for his resignation.

Miller declined to respond to The Washington Post’s inquiries, but the White House has rallied behind him. Speaking to the Post, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham rejected the SPLC as a “far-left smear organization.”

In an earlier interview with the Post, Miller described himself as a clear-eyed immigration restrictionist who is focused on “the harms done by uncontrolled migration to people of all backgrounds.”

But reporting this month by my colleagues unearthed how Miller may indeed fixate on “backgrounds.” A piece that looked at the diplomatic career of Gordon Sondland, the Trump-appointed U.S. ambassador to the European Union now at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, points to how Miller may have encouraged Sondland to develop a “fast-track” immigration route for white European migrants.

“Many U.S. diplomats in the mission were unsettled by the idea, viewing it as racially motivated,” noted my colleagues. “One diplomat said that ‘the way this was going to come off was that the United States is fishing for white people, while reducing opportunities for needier people to immigrate.’”

What concerns some analysts is that Miller may not be an outlier. He has spent his entire professional life working within the Republican Party, including a stint as a close aide to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s former U.S. attorney general, when he was an Alabama senator. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer cast Miller as part of a hard-right ideological vanguard that’s wholly reshaping American politics.

His colleagues, though, are acting as if there’s not a shred of evidence behind these claims. One White House official, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity to comment on a sensitive matter, said it was “anti-Semitic” to suggest that Miller, who is Jewish, could be a white nationalist.

A number of prominent Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, Bend the Arc and the Union for Reform Judaism, disagree. They signed on to a letter urging Miller’s firing. “Stephen Miller has stoked bigotry, hate, and division with his extreme political rhetoric and policies throughout his career,” the statement read. “The recent exposure of his deep-seated racism provides further proof that he is unfit to serve and should immediately leave his post.”

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