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Category: Poverty

Stephen Miller Echoes White Nationalists In Leaked Anti-DACA Emails

A new series of leaked emails show senior White House adviser Stephen Miller echoing disturbing white nationalist talking points in arguments against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

In the emails, obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy group, Miller attacks fellow Republicans who have supported the program, rooting his criticism in ideas common in white supremacist literature.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) gets a mention in a March 2015 thread on DACA, at a time Bush was considered a front-runner in the presidential race. Miller accused the candidate of wanting to use “immigration to replace existing demographics.”

The mention of demographic “replacement” is a clear reference to racist white supremacist ideology, which claims American culture is being supplanted by nonwhite immigrants.

A sizable ― and growing ― chorus has been calling for the White House to fire Miller over his shockingly racist views. That coalition includes at least 24 U.S. senators, 107 members of the U.S. House, more than 50 major civil rights groups including the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign, and eight organizations belonging to an initiative called Jews Against White Nationalism.

Miller also attacked former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the same thread, apparently over his support for the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the U.S. 

“Demanding DREAMers be given citizenship because they ‘know no other home.’ That principle is an endorsement of perpetual birthright citizenship for the foreign-born,” Miller wrote, referencing those who would be protected by the proposed DREAM Act. “Not only will the U.S.-born children of future illegal immigrants and guest workers be made automatic U.S. citizens, but their foreign-born children will too because, as Cantor said, ‘Our country was founded on the principle.’”

The emails are some of the more than 900 messages Miller sent to editors for far-right outlet Breitbart in 2015 and 2016 seeking to influence the site’s coverage. Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh leaked the trove to the SPLC late last year.

DACA, which began under former President Barack Obama, shields immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and provides legal access to jobs and education, provided they meet certain requirements like avoiding criminal charges and reapply every two years.

Polling has consistently shown a majority of Americans support DACA. The program also enjoys bipartisan support in Congress.

The Trump administration tried to end the program in September 2017, but was blocked from doing so by federal courts. The issue is now before the Supreme Court, which is expected to make a ruling by June 2020.

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Poverty Grew In One-Third Of U.S. Counties Despite Strong National Economy

By Tim Henderson

Despite an economic recovery that lifted people out of poverty in most areas of the country, poverty increased in at least one county in every state between 2016 and 2018.

The poverty rate grew in 30% of counties between 2016 and 2018, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Census Bureau county estimates released this month. The poverty rate is the percentage of people in households earning less than the poverty threshold, currently $25,750 for a family of four.

While the overall poverty rate dropped between 2016 and 2018, from 13% to 12%, states varied widely. In New Jersey and Rhode Island, the poverty rate grew in only one county, compared with 83 in Texas.

The counties with the biggest jumps in poverty ranged across the political and demographic spectrum: from 97% white and solidly Republican-voting Carter County in Kentucky to black-majority, Democratic Bullock County in Alabama.

Most of the biggest increases were in areas both rural and Southern. Those areas generally had residents who lacked job training and skills and industries that suffered downturns.

For many counties, rising poverty rates underscore the importance of fully counting residents in next year’s census, since a count of low-income residents will help determine funding available to help them.

Alabama, where poverty grew in 27 of 67 counties, named a rural development manager in August to help create jobs in rural areas, a move that Bullock County welcomed, said David Padgett, the county’s economic developer.

Bullock County had the second-biggest increase in poverty in the country, up almost 10 points between 2016 and 2018 to 42.5%.

The county has job opportunities at its airport, poultry plant, hospital and state prison, and a low unemployment rate of about 3%. But that figure doesn’t count the discouraged workers who have given up on finding jobs and remain in poverty, many of whom are too old to look for work, Padgett said.

“We have a lot of disadvantaged people who are not in the workforce. This goes way beyond Bullock County,” Padgett said. “This is about rural areas across Alabama.”

Carter County, Kentucky, also saw one of the largest poverty rate increases, up 8.5 points to 31.1%.

“This is rural America. We’re rich in self-sustaining nature and neighbors helping neighbors but we don’t have resources,” said state Sen. Robin Webb, a Democrat who lives in Carter County. “I’ve got a car full of toys we’re taking to a school where 60 kids weren’t going to have Christmas.”

Like Bullock, Carter has an aging population, and a meat processing plant is its largest employer. It also has an AT&T customer service center, and many residents drive to coal-related jobs in other areas.

But the county has seen a long decline in business related to the coal industry and has been hit by drug addiction as opioids and meth come in on highways from urban areas, Webb said.

Most of the county’s 20,000 registered voters are Democrats but the county has voted Republican for president since 2008, including 73% for Donald Trump in 2016.

“Now they’re closing the coal-fired plants,” Webb said, “and those tradesmen and -women are being thrown out of those highly skilled jobs, and it’s having a terrible impact.”

While 14 of the 20 counties with the biggest poverty increases were Southern, some Native American-majority counties also saw big jumps.

Poverty in Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota grew 13.3 points to 54%. The Bethel Census Area in Alaska, which is treated as a county for census purposes but is unincorporated, had a jump of 7.2 points to 32.7%.

One of the few big poverty-rate increases outside of rural areas was in San Juan County, New Mexico, home to the regional hub of Farmington. Poverty increased 5.7 points between 2016 and 2018 to 23.1% as low natural gas prices led to a loss of jobs in the area, said Larry Hathaway, the county’s community development administrator.

“We had more people moving out than moving in the last couple of years,” Hathaway said. “Natural gas prices are cheap, so production is down.” Workers have been attracted to more lucrative oil-drilling jobs in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, he added.

In Bullock County, median income after inflation dropped 18% between 2016 and 2018 to $29,267. Padgett said that may reflect a more realistic estimate than in years past, when immigrants working at the poultry plant were afraid to participate in the 2010 census. That may have resulted in an undercount of the low-income population, distorting income statistics, he said.

“We have to do a better job next year,” Padgett said, referring to the 2020 census. An artificially high median income figure in 2010 left the county with less money for things like police cars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should subsidize those purchases 55%, he said, but instead the county qualifies for only 25% to 35%.

Getting a better census count is a high priority for Bullock County, said Carla Elston, the county extension coordinator for Auburn University and Alabama A&M. The extension is working to get a better count of Haitian and Hispanic workers, and to encourage them to participate in next year’s census so that the low-income population will be more accurately counted for funding purposes and those residents will get the representation they deserve, she said.

“There is still that fear factor,” Elston said. “We want this to be an accurate count.”

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Mitt Romney Wants Answers From Stephen Miller About Leaked Emails

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) says he’d like to hear from controversial senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller following the release of leaked emails that appear to show Miller promoting white nationalist ideas.

“I’d love to hear him more fully describe his involvement with that movement. I know the president gets to choose who’s around him, but I don’t think that reflects as well as it might,” Romney told HuffPost on Tuesday when asked about Miller.

Last week, the nonprofit civil rights advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center published emails from 2015 in which Miller, an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the time, exchanged links promoting white nationalist theories with Katie McHugh, who was then working at the right-wing website Breitbart News.

McHugh was fired in 2017 after tweeting anti-Muslim attacks. She leaked her email correspondence with Miller in June 2019 and told SPLC that she was introduced to Miller in 2015 as someone who would influence her reporting.

The emails show Miller recommending that Breitbart write about “The Camp of the Saints, a book linked to the far-right movement that portrays immigrants as dark-skinned, feces-eating invaders of white society. Miller also sent McHugh a link to Vdare, an anti-immigration website that peddles white identity politics and provides a platform for white nationalists.

In a statement to Axios, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham called the Southern Poverty Law Center “an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization,” but did not challenge or address the substance of the emails. An unnamed White House official, meanwhile, told The Daily Beast last week of Miller: “The president has his back.”

On Tuesday, SPLC published another collection of emails to show how Miller influenced Breitbart’s coverage of immigration and pushed criticism of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration policies.

Miller is an immigration hard-liner. He is the architect of much of Trump’s immigration policy, including the administration’s family separation policy and the travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries.

A growing number of Democrats have called on Miller to resign following the release of the emails, including several 2020 presidential candidates and the leaders of the Black Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and Asian Pacific American Caucus. 

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Civil Rights Groups Call For Trump To Fire Stephen Miller Over White Nationalism

A coalition of civil rights organizations penned a letter Monday asking the Trump administration to fire Stephen Miller after leaked emails published last week confirmed the senior adviser’s already suspected alignment with white nationalism.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote to the White House saying that the administration will continue “to be responsible for the violence fueled by” Miller’s hate and bigotry as long as he is still working for the federal government.

“Stephen Miller represents white supremacy, violent extremism, and hate ― all ideologies that are antithetical to the fundamental values that guide our democracy,” the letter said. “Allowing him to remain a White House advisor is a betrayal of our national ideals of justice, inclusion, and fairness. We call on you to halt your own hateful actions and rhetoric and remove all hate enthusiasts from the administration.”

The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the letter.

The letter comes after the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization, published an investigation Nov. 12 from its Hatewatch arm reviewing over 900 messages Miller sent to editors of the right-wing website Breitbart from March 2015 to June 2016. According to Hatewatch, more than 80% of the emails “relate to or appear on threads relating to the subjects of race or immigration.”

In the series of leaked emails, Miller supported white nationalism; complained about backlash over Confederate symbols after the 2015 mass shooting at a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and promoted immigration policies once praised by Adolf Hitler.

SPLC reporter Michael Hayden said that in all 900 emails, he was “unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.”

“In his role as your senior advisor, Stephen Miller has promoted hate speech spewed from neo-Nazis, bigots, and white supremacists,” the Monday letter from the civil rights coalition said. “His advancement of white nationalist ideology has resulted in policies ― and violent acts ― that actively harm immigrants, people of color, and marginalized communities.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told HuffPost at the time Hatewatch released its report that she was not aware of the investigation’s contents. She then tried to discredit the SPLC, calling the civil rights advocacy group an “utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization.”

Miller is the mastermind behind President Donald Trump’s travel ban on multiple Muslim-majority countries, as well as the family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border that has left migrant adults and children separated, deported and/or detained in inhumane conditions, causing lifelong trauma for refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.

The senior adviser has also promoted ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and banning transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

“The heightened anti-immigrant and anti-minority sentiments driving the policies of this administration are undoubtedly linked to the alarming rise of hate crimes and the highest number of hate-fueled murders in recent history,” the letter said. “Stephen Miller’s racist, deadly agenda is contributing to this violence and must be stopped.” 

More than 80 members of Congress, all Democrats, have called on Miller to resign after HuffPost contacted every House member to ask their opinion in response to the Hatewatch report. Those calls echoed similar demands Thursday from leaders of the Black Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and the Asian Pacific American Caucus.

“As documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Stephen Miller has embedded himself in white nationalist doctrine for years, including promoting racist propaganda from fringe sites like VDARE and InfoWars,” the Democratic caucus leaders said in a joint statement.

The civil rights coalition is made up of dozens of organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Families Belong Together, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Immigration Law Center.

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Over 80 Members Of Congress To Stephen Miller: Resign From White House Now

Over 80 members of the House of Representatives have now called on White House senior adviser Stephen Miller to resign after leaked emails published this week showed his affinity for white nationalism. 

HuffPost contacted the office of every House member and asked whether Miller should resign. All told, over 80 representatives, all Democrats, have said he should. 

“Hell yes,” responded Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).  

“I feel pretty secure in my belief that flaming white nationalists should have no place in the White House, the halls of Congress or anywhere, for that matter,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). 

“A person with his hateful beliefs should not be making decisions at the highest levels of our government,” said Mark Takano (D-Calif.). “He should resign, and if he doesn’t, he should be fired.”

The widespread calls for Miller’s resignation echoed demands Thursday by leaders of the Black Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and the Asian Pacific American Caucus. 

“As documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Stephen Miller has embedded himself in white nationalist doctrine for years, including promoting racist propaganda from fringe sites like VDARE and InfoWars,” the Democratic caucus leaders said in a joint statement calling for Miller’s resignation.  

“And as the chief architect of the Muslim Ban and cruel family separation policies, Stephen Miller has spent the last three years turning his bigotry into policy – with President Trump’s blessing.” 

He should resign, and if he doesn’t, he should be fired. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

On Tuesday, the civil rights advocacy organization Southern Poverty Law Center published the first of a series of bombshell reports analyzing 900 emails Miller sent to former Breitbart writer Katie McHugh in 2015 and 2016. They show Miller, working at the time for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), attempting to shape Breitbart’s political coverage, namely regarding stories related to race and immigration.  

In some emails, Miller informed Breitbart of stories published by white supremacist website VDARE and racist conspiracy theory website InfoWars — and then suggested how Breitbart might promote them. 

In another email, Miller recommended that Breitbart write about the deeply racist 1970s French novel “Camp of Saints,” which depicts brown immigrants — including Indians who “eat feces” — descending upon Europe like a plague, killing people and raping women. The novel is a favorite among neo-Nazis and other assorted fascists. 

In all 900 emails, SPLC reporter Michael Hayden noted he was “unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.” 

Miller went on to work for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign before being selected as a senior adviser in the White House, where he’s often credited with crafting the administration’s cruel immigration policies. 

“Stephen Miller, Trump’s architect of mass human rights abuses at the border (including child separation & detention camps w/ child fatalities) has been exposed as a bonafide white nationalist,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Tuesday. “He’s still at the White House shaping US immigration policy. Miller must resign. Now.”

“Each day we allow a white nationalist to be in charge of US immigration policy is a day where thousands of children & families lives are in danger,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in another tweet. “This year alone, under Miller’s direction, the US has put almost 70,000 children in custody.” 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted: “As I said earlier this year: Stephen Miller is a white nationalist. And now we have the emails to prove it. This type of racism and hatred has no place in our government. Miller needs to step down. Now.”

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and White House director of social media Dan Scavino board Air Force One to depart Washington with U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 14, 2019. 

The White House did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the calls for Miller to resign or whether the president might fire Miller. 

“Unfortunately, we know that President Trump, who said that there were ‘very fine people on both sides’ when white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, welcomes his racist views to help sow hate and division in America,” Takano told HuffPost. 

In a statement to Axios, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham called the Southern Poverty Law Center “an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization.” 

“They libel, slander, and defame conservatives for a living,” said Grisham, providing no evidence that the SPLC’s story about Miller is false. 

Another White House official anonymously attempted to accuse the SPLC of anti-Semitism. 

“This is clearly a form of anti-Semitism to levy these attacks against Jewish staffer,” the unnamed official told Axios. 

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who thinks Miller should resign, noted in a statement to HuffPost that the White House adviser “is damn lucky that there wasn’t someone like him in charge at Ellis Island when his great-grandfather sought refuge in this country after fleeing Eastern Europe to escape persecution by the Nazis.”  

“Having someone like him in a powerful position at the White House sends a very bad message to Americans and the world,” Wilson said. 

Here’s the list of congresspeople who have called for Miller’s resignation so far: 

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Raúl Manuel Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.)

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.)

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.)

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.)

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.)

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) 

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Fla.)

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)

Rep. Jesús G. García (D-Ill.)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.)

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) 

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)

Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.)

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)

Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.)

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)

Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.)

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)

Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.)

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) 

Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Nydia Margarita Velázquez (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio)

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.)

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.)

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) 

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas)

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)

Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) 

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.)

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) 

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) 

This story has been updated to note that additional lawmakers have called on Miller to resign.

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Ocasio-Cortez Calls On Stephen Miller To Resign Amid White Nationalist Email Leak

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called on senior White House adviser Stephen Miller to immediately resign amid reports that he regularly pushed white nationalist talking points and xenophobia in a series of emails sent in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

The Southern Poverty Law Center published an investigation from its Hatewatch arm Tuesday after reviewing more than 900 messages that Miller sent to the conservative news outlet Breitbart from March 2015 to June 2016. More than 80% of the missives related to “or appear on threads relating to the subjects of race or immigration,” the group found, and many sought to promote far-right extremist ideas and anti-immigration messaging.

Many of the emails were sent before he joined Trump’s campaign while Miller was working for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

But despite the timeline, Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that the trove of uncovered emails should bring the White House aide’s immediate resignation.

“Stephen Miller, Trump’s architect of mass human rights abuses at the border (including child separation & detention camps w/ child fatalities) has been exposed as a bonafide white nationalist,” the lawmaker wrote Tuesday night on Twitter. “He’s still at the White House shaping US immigration policy.”

The Trump administration refused to discuss the SPLC’s investigation on Tuesday. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said she had not seen the report but called the SPLC an “utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization” in a statement to HuffPost. 

She added that the nonprofit group, which regularly defends civil liberties and shines a light on hate groups, was “beneath public discussion.”

Hatewatch said Tuesday that many of Miller’s emails were centered on race and immigration, calling his perspective “repetitious” and highly focused on “ending nonwhite immigration to the United States.” They were given to the news outlet by a former Breitbart editor, Katie McHugh, who said they “clearly illustrate his beliefs, which until now have not been made explicit and known to the American people.”

Miller has been the architect of many of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration efforts and one of the administration’s most vocal defenders.

“Americans should be terrified by the casual way that Stephen Miller, who has enormous influence in the White House, shares racist content and speaks the language of white nationalists in emails to people he apparently considered fellow travelers,” Michael Edison Hayden, an investigative reporter at Hatewatch, said in a statement Tuesday.

Read the full investigation at the SPLC.

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Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Is Exactly Who You Think He Is

Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller in a series of leaked emails pushed white nationalism, bemoaned opposition to Confederate symbols following a mass shooting at a Black church in South Carolina and embraced immigration policies once lauded by Adolf Hitler.

On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy group, published an investigative report from its Hatewatch arm, which reviewed more than 900 messages Miller sent to Breitbart editors from March 2015 to June 2016. More than 80% “relate to or appear on threads relating to the subjects of race or immigration,” Hatewatch said.

The emails were given to the organization by Katie McHugh, who was an editor at the right-wing website from April 2014 to June 2017, when she was fired after tweeting anti-Muslim attacks.

McHugh told Hatewatch that in 2015, she was introduced to Miller as someone who would influence her reporting.

In June of that year, after white nationalist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine Black worshippers in a Charleston, South Carolina, church, Miller was evidently upset by a nationwide effort by Amazon and other companies to remove Confederate flags from their stores.

Outraged, Miller emailed McHugh under the subject line, “defies modern comprehension,” citing the death toll of Southerners in the Civil War and suggesting she search for sales of communist flags.

“Have you thought about going to Amazon and finding the commie flags and then doing a story on that?” Miller asked. “I think you’ve hit on something potentially profound.”

In July 2015, Miller forwarded McHugh a link to Infowars, the fringe website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has faced numerous lawsuits for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. The link led to a story syndicated from right-wing website CNSNews, which regurgitated Rev. Franklin Graham’s statement that America is “under attack by Muslims at home and abroad” and “should stop all immigration of Muslims.”

In a September 2015 email, Miller recommended that Breitbart write about “The Camp of the Saints, a racial-dystopian novel by French author Jean Raspail. The book, linked to the far-right movement, portrays immigrants as dark-skinned, feces-eating invaders of white society.

Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart executive chairman and former White House chief strategist, has repeatedly cited the book to describe the European refugee crisis.

Stephen Miller, a White House senior adviser, arrives to attend the Republican Senate Policy Luncheon in the Capitol on May 14, 2019.

The following month, Miller sent McHugh a link to VDARE, an anti-immigration website that peddles white-identity politics and platforms white nationalists. In their exchange, McHugh fretted that Hurricane Patricia, which was wreaking havoc in southwest Mexico, would drive “a mass migration to the U.S. border.” Responding, Miller said the chances were “100 percent,” warning that the storm’s survivors would be granted temporary protected status (TPS), allowing them to remain in the U.S. for a period of time while recovery took place at home. Miller then shared with McHugh a VDARE story on TPS, which was written by Steve Sailer, who has promoted so-called human biodiversity ― a debunked form of race science dismissed by critics as eugenics.

McHugh told Hatewatch that Miller’s emails “clearly illustrate his beliefs, which until now have not been made explicit and known to the American people.”

Throughout the trove of emails, Hatewatch said it “was unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.”

He also made repeated references to President Calvin Coolidge and his Immigration Act of 1924, which targeted Eastern and Southern European immigrants. It is described by the House’s own Office of the Historian as “a legislative expression of the xenophobia … that swept America in the decade of the 1920s.”

Hitler, in his infamous “Mein Kampf” manifesto, approved of the law as a possible model for Nazi Germany.

Miller is known as the architect of President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries and the traumatizing policy of separating migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a press release, Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter for Hatewatch, emphasized the power Miller wields in Trump’s administration.

“Americans should be terrified by the casual way that Stephen Miller, who has enormous influence in the White House, shares racist content and speaks the language of white nationalists in emails to people he apparently considered fellow travelers,” he said. “It’s clear that he believes people of color are a danger to our country and should not be allowed in.”

In a statement, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told HuffPost that she was unaware of the contents of Hatewatch’s report and then attempted to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We have not seen the report,” she said. “The SPLC, however, is an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization that has recently been forced ― to its great humiliation ― to issue a major retraction for other wholly-fabricated accusations. They libel, slander, and defame conservatives for a living. They are beneath public discussion.”

The post has been updated with comment from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

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A California City Gave People $500 A Month, No Strings Attached. Here’s What Happened.

For millions of Americans, an unexpected expense ― a broken down car, a sudden rent increase, an illness ― can be financially crippling. Forty percent would struggle to cover a $400 emergency expense. For many on low incomes, it’s a constant cycle of anxiety.

The city of Stockton, California, has been experimenting with an idea – called the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) – that could help alleviate this financial vulnerability for some of its residents and ultimately improve their physical and mental health.

Since February, the city has given $500 a month, no strings attached, to 125 residents, all of whom live at or below the city’s median income level of about $46,000. It’s a form of universal basic income (UBI): the idea that people receive regular payments, which they are free to spend however they wish. 

Eight months into the 18 month-long pilot project, which is being funded by a $1 million grant from the Economic Security Project, a network promoting UBI, along with other private funders – the first set of preliminary results has been released

Of the 125 people taking part, 43% are working, 20% have disabilities and are not employed, and 11% care for children or elderly relatives. Fewer than 2% are unemployed. 

Their $500 monthly stipend is loaded onto debit cards, which makes is possible for researchers to track how the money was spent. Researchers found that the biggest slice of the payouts (40%) was for food, 24% was spent on merchandise, including at places like Walmart and dollar stores, nearly 12% on utility bills and 9% on car-related expenses, such as fuel and repairs. Other money went toward insurance, medical expenses and recreation. 

Researchers noted that about 40% of the money was taken out as cash or moved to other accounts, meaning they had to rely on anecdotal reports as to how that money was spent. 

Stockton makes sense as a testing ground for universal basic income. The racially diverse city of 300,000 people is just a few hours commute from Silicon Valley but a world away from its wealth. In 2012, battered by the financial crash and the housing crisis, with city authorities accused of years of ill-considered spending, Stockton became the largest city in the U.S. to file for bankruptcy.

The city is recovering, but its poverty rate of 22.4% is double the national rate of 11.4% and the city’s median income is more than $10,000 below the national median income.

Stockton’s mayor, Michael Tubbs, who has led the program, said the results of the pilot project help fracture the myth that poverty is caused by poor people’s irresponsibility.

“In this country, we have an issue with associating people who are struggling economically and people of color with vices like drug use, alcohol use, gambling,” Tubbs said. “I thought it was important to illustrate folks aren’t using this money for things like that. They are using it for literal necessities.”

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs initiated the program to give $500 a month to 125 residents. Tubbs says the privately funded program could be a solution to the city’s poverty problem.

Lorrine Paradela, who works with children with autism and is one of the participants in Stockton’s pilot project, told CityLab that her first $500 payment came “just in time” because she needed to replace her car battery. The money has helped her save for the downpayment on a new car and pay for her insurance. But, Paradela said, people can still be judgmental about cash handouts: “They think that people that get that money don’t work. They use it on drugs and alcohol; to buy themselves nice clothes and stuff … But I use that money for my family.” 

This is a familiar trope, said Stacia Martin-West, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and one of the researchers overseeing the program. “There’s a broader idea that people are financially struggling because they make bad financial choices. But I think if we look at these data… we see a sample of folks that are financially struggling but are prioritizing and making really rational decisions about how to put this money to work.”

There’s a lot of interest in how Stockton’s project unfolds as the concept of universal basic income increases in popularity. 

UBI might be an old idea but it has been propelled into the mainstream with high-profile pilots in countries around the world ― from Finland to Kenya ― and powerful advocates, including tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who is campaigning on a platform of UBI, promising to give every American $1,000 a month.

What’s happening in Stockton is a more limited version of UBI. First, only 125 people are taking part, a pretty small number, and they were selected because they have lower incomes. Second, the monthly payments are small, even if they can make a big difference for the Stockton participants whose monthly incomes average around $1,800. The money is a potentially crucial lifeline rather than a guarantee that all the basics of human need will be covered. 

Stockton, California, has been targeted for redevelopment as it continues to recover from the Great Recession, when it was kn

Stockton, California, has been targeted for redevelopment as it continues to recover from the Great Recession, when it was known as the foreclosure capital of the country.

It will be a while before there is fuller information on whether the guaranteed income can help boost Stockton’s financially vulnerable residents. Results will be released at intervals during the project in an effort to make it transparent, especially to Stockton’s residents. But the final results are not expected until December 2020. These will dig into the effects not just on people’s financial and job situations but also on their physical and mental health.

“We all know that American families are just struggling piecing together multiple jobs, the jobs that they have have incredible volatility,” said Martin-West. This causes anxiety that builds up over months and years, she added, helping cause high blood pressure, and a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and other negative health outcomes.

“The question here is that if we can use guaranteed income to at least have a floor, do we see changes in people’s anxiety and their stress levels and their physical and mental health? And their ability to spend time with their family and ultimately be happier and well-rounded people capable of realizing their full potential?” she said.

Researchers will look at the participants’ lives five years before the experiment and then over the following five years to get a decade-long snapshot of the difference the guaranteed income had on their lives. 

Whether Stockton’s pilot project can serve as a test case for other American cities when it comes to UBI is debated. Jesse Rothstein, professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, has doubts. Rothstein, who has written a paper on the potential role of UBI in countries like the U.S., believes Stockton’s SEED project will almost certainly show that guaranteed income will help reduce the monthly volatility of household incomes.

But, he told HuffPost, “I don’t think the SEED demonstration will provide answers to the questions that we identified as the important questions about UBIs — relating to the effects of universality, of the knowledge that the program will be available for the long term, or of the taxes needed to pay for the program.” 

For Amy Castro Baker, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a lead researcher on Stockton’s program, the results will be valuable as part of a growing body of research into how a guaranteed income could be rolled out and tailored for diverse demographics. But, she said, it must fit with a broader national conversation about dignity, deservedness and what kind of economy we want. 

“It took us well over 100 years of exclusion from markets and exclusion from upward mobility and locking people out of safe investments to bring us to this point,” she said. “There is no one policy solution that will dig us out of systemic injustice when it comes to this economy.”

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HuffPost’s “This New World” series is funded by Partners for a New Economy and the Kendeda Fund. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundations. If you have an idea or tip for the editorial series, send an email to thisnewworld@huffpost.com 

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Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against SPLC Over Hate Group Designation

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that accused leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center of trying to financially destroy one of the organizations that it has labeled as a hate group.

The Center for Immigration Studies’ lawsuit is devoid of any allegation that the law center made a false statement about the Washington-based nonprofit, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., said in her ruling Friday.

“The upshot of the complaint is that defendants advanced a conclusion that was debatable, and that this expression of a flawed opinion harmed plaintiff’s reputation,” Jackson wrote.

The research group accused the Montgomery, Alabama-based law center’s leaders of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act when they designated it as a hate group in 2016. The judge, however, said the suit improperly attempts to “shoehorn” a defamation claim into the framework of a RICO case.

The law center’s attorneys asked the judge to impose monetary sanctions against the group for filing claims that it said were frivolous and designed to “censor constitutionally protected speech.” The law center also argued that the First Amendment barred the suit’s claims.

Jackson refused to impose sanctions, concluding the lawsuit wasn’t “completely frivolous.” The judge also said she didn’t need to rule on the law center’s First Amendment arguments because she found that the suit failed to state a claim under the RICO statute.

On its website, the law center describes the Center for Immigration Studies as the “go-to think tank for the anti-immigrant movement” and says it has a history of circulating the work of white nationalist and anti-Semitic writers.

The research group says on its website that it has a “pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.”

Mark Krikorian, the group’s executive director, said in an email Monday that the group hasn’t yet decided whether to appeal.

The law center’s interim president, Karen Baynes-Dunning, said the group stands by its listing of CIS as an anti-immigrant hate group.

“As groups like CIS continue to infect the mainstream with their hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric, we will continue to call out their hate and bigotry whenever we see it,” she said in a statement.

The law center has tracked far-right extremist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, for decades. Other organizations have sued over the law center’s list of hate groups.

In January 2018, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the First Amendment protected a charity tracking website’s use of the law center’s hate group labels.

The founder of the far-right Proud Boys sued the law center in February for labeling the organization as a hate group. That federal case is still pending in Alabama.

In June 2018, the law center apologized to a London-based group, Quilliam, and its founder, Maajid Nawaz, and agreed to pay $3.4 million in an out-of-court settlement after labeling them as anti-Muslim extremists.

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Ben Shapiro Says It's A 'You Problem' If You Work A Second Job And People Are Furious

Controversial conservative commentator Ben Shapiro sparked backlash on Twitter for saying it’s “a you problem” if you’re forced to take a second job to make ends meet.

“If you had to work more than one job to have a roof over your head or food on the table, you probably shouldn’t have taken the job that’s not paying you enough,” Shapiro said in a clip from his radio show that was circulated by a researcher for progressive watchdog group Media Matters on Wednesday.

Shapiro made his comment as a response to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’ assertion that people should not have to work more than one job just to pay the bills.

Shapiro attempted to clarify his position with this Twitter thread:

But not before drawing ire from many other people online:

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