Pence’s ex-aide says Trump and Miller thwarted Afghan refugee efforts

A homeland security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence accused the Trump administration of distorting the truth about Afghan refugees, writing on Twitter that the former president and Stephen Miller, his top immigration adviser, were seeking to prevent refugees from entering the United States.

In an interview, Olivia Troye recalled attending meetings where Mr. Miller demanded restrictions on refugees, including those from Afghanistan and Iraq. She said cuts to the refugee program during the Trump years reduced the government’s ability to bring interpreters and others to the United States.

“Now we’re in this crisis and they say Trump would have evacuated them,” Ms. Troye said. “But he hasn’t done it for four years. You are not playing revisionist history here. There are people who know what the situation is.

President Donald J. Trump and his allies have repeatedly asserted in recent days that his administration would have handled a withdrawal from Afghanistan better than President Biden, whom he criticized for failing to evacuate working Americans and Afghans. with the United States. Top Conservative commentators, including Ben Domenech, tweeted in favor of Mr. Trump.

Ms Troye sought to refute these claims on Twitter and in an interview, claiming instead that Trump administration officials had worked to undermine the immigration system that brings Afghan and Iraqi allies into the country by granting them visas. special immigrant indicating that they had supported the American. war effort.

Mr. Miller “and his facilitators across government would undermine anyone working to solve the SIV problem by devastating the DHS and state system,” she wrote on Twitter.

In a statement sent to The Times on Saturday night, Miller responded to Ms. Troye’s accusations by blaming Mr. Biden for the chaotic evacuation of Americans and Afghans as the United States pulls out of its longest war in two decades. .

“The only reason anyone is stranded in Afghanistan is because Joe Biden blocked them there in the most stupid act of strategic incompetence in human history,” Miller said. “All the desperate liars in the world cannot change this inescapable fact.”

Katie Miller, former spokesperson for Mr Pence and wife of Mr Miller, questioned Ms Troye’s claims about Mr Miller’s involvement in blocking Afghans eligible for the special visa category.

@OliviaTroye What meeting? Who were the participants? Where did this “meeting” take place? Mrs. Miller wrote. ” This does not happen. Stephen didn’t even work on the SIV policy.

Ms Miller also linked to a government study showing that the number of special immigrant visas granted to Iraqis and Afghans during the four years of Mr Trump’s administration – a total of around 44,000 – was close to 6,000 more than in the president’s last four years. The time of Barack Obama in power.

While in the White House, Miller was successful in pushing for deep cuts in the number of refugees the United States allows into the country, although the Trump administration has sought to prioritize more visas. limited for those for Afghans and Iraqis near the end of the president’s term.

In 2017, when Mr. Trump imposed a travel ban on foreigners, including Iraqis, HR McMaster, the former national security adviser, was furious that it would block Iraqi allies who assisted the military during the war. the low. After repeated clashes between Mr. McMaster and Mr. Miller, Mr. Trump reluctantly agreed to remove Iraq from the travel ban.

The Biden administration has said it only allows fully controlled Afghans to enter the United States. But in a series of tweets last week, Miller warned against bringing “millions” of Afghans to the United States.

“Summary: If we’re not careful, all we might have to show for 20 years in Afghanistan is a failed terrorist state, a humanitarian catastrophe and an immigration policy that brought the threat of jihadism to our countries. ribs, ”Miller said. wrote.

“If we are to safely and effectively assist the * millions * of people likely to leave Afghanistan,” he added, “the emphasis must be on regional resettlement – not mass resettlement in Afghanistan. inside the United States.

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