Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the State Department has always headed immigration. Many White House Advisors, including the influential Stephen Miller, are trying to shift the responsibility to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and have written a proposal to do so. As stated by the proponents of this proposal, the reason for this change lies in the ideal that immigration is a law enforcement issue that should be headed by those in charge of national security.
Many democrats in Congress oppose this stance, because it categorizes immigrants as a security threat rather than a positive addition to American society. Additionally many believe the proposal was written as a way for the White House to gain tighter control and crack down further on immigration. This belief follows reports that Miller, co-author of this proposal as well as Trump’s Travel Ban, has asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take a stricter stance on immigration. Tillerson does not believe that the responsibility should shift from the State Department, though his reasons may stem from the funding the department will lose.
Our Verdict: Although this proposal is still in early stages, it has already been met with intense opposition both by Democrats and Republicans within the administration. We believe that the responsibility should remain with the State Department as it represents the face of our country to the international community. Treating immigration as a national security threat is an abominable proposal and should not be the message that the United States puts out to the world.