PALM BEACH, Fla. — A top White House aide renewed support for President Donald Trump’s embattled immigration order and praised a surge in deportations Sunday, as the new president faces a new provocation in the form of an apparent missile test by North Korea.
The White House continues to weigh its options following a legal blow last week to Trump’s immigration order suspending the nation’s refugee program and barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Stephen Miller, Trump’s chief policy adviser and one of the architects of the order, maintained in a round of Sunday show interviews that the president has sweeping executive authority when it comes to barring foreigners he deems pose a risk to the country. He said Trump will do “whatever we need to do, consistent with the law, to keep this country safe” and slammed judges who’ve stood in his way.
“This is a judicial usurpation of the power. It is a violation of judges’ proper roles in litigating disputes. We will fight it,” Miller said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
As for the administration’s next steps, Miller said that “all options” remain on the table,” including a Supreme Court appeal. Trump said on the plane ride to Florida on Friday that he was considering signing a “brand new order” as early as Monday to try to bypass the legal challenges.
“As you know, we have multiple options, and we are considering all of them,” Miller said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The comments come amid an outcry from immigration activists over an “enforcement surge” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Advocacy groups contend the government has rounded up large numbers of people as part of stepped-up enforcement. The agency calls the effort no different from enforcement actions carried out in the past.
But Trump and Miller appeared eager to take credit for the action.
“The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” Trump tweeted.
Added Miller on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We’re going to focus on public safety and saving American lives and we will not apologize.”