From Foreign Policy:
EXCLUSIVE: Trump Advisor Stephen Miller Blocked G-7 Migration Proposal
The author of the ‘Muslim Ban’ is now working to scuttle plans to settle refugees.
BY COLUM LYNCH MAY 25,
President Donald Trump’s controversial senior advisor and speechwriter, Stephen Miller, has led White House efforts to undercut an initiative by Italy to place the migration crisis at the center of this week’s Group of Seven major summit meeting starting Friday in Sicily.
For Italy, the summit in Taormina, Sicily, was to provide a poignant opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of hundred of thousands of refugees who cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy’s shores each year, and to reach agreement on a plan to find them permanent homes.
But the Donald Trump White House has largely blocked its Italian host from putting forward an initiative addressing the need to resettle millions of refugees and migrants who have poured into Europe on rickety boats or crossed borders on foot over the past decade. Instead, the United States has pressed the leaders to cap the session with a stern declaration on the need to fight terrorism, a cause that gained added urgency following a grisly suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
The rearguard action was led by the 31-year-old Miller …
The U.S. stance reflects the influence of Trump confidantes like Miller in an area that has traditionally been managed by national security experts in the White House and the State Department. … Miller has filled a policy void left by a weak multilateral affairs division in the White House, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has shown little interest in refugees, according to a U.S. official.
In advance of the summit, Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni met Wednesday with President Trump in Rome and made a last-ditch effort to persuade the American president to soften his opposition to resettling more refugees in the United States and urged the United States to provide financial assistance for migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean, according to USA Today. It remains unclear how Trump responded. …
“The president of the United States has campaigned on certain principles and he will not abandon those just because another country wishes we would have a different policy” said the second U.S. official. “We are not forcing our policy on others, but they shouldn’t try to force theirs on us.”