President Donald Trump's policy adviser Stephen Miller on Sunday defended sweeping Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids of illegal immigrants — saying the roundups will save American lives and prevent "the unthinkable from happening."
In an interview on ABC News' "This Week," Miller said the roundups included the seizure of a "wife beater."
"I was on the phone last night with someone from [the Department of Homeland Security]," he said. "They removed a wife beater. That person was on the radar screen for awhile. … That action will probably end up saving American lives or the well being and physical safety of American residents."
"All over the country right now, we're engaging in action to prevent the unthinkable from happening," he continued. "During the campaign, President Trump stood side by side with mothers who have lost their children."
He offered the example of Michelle Root, whose daughter. Sarah, was slain by an illegal immigrant, asking host George Stephanopoulos what he would tell families of those killed by illegals.
"They didn't seem like priorities for removal," Miller said, but declared: "We don't want to be cleaning up this mess on the back end."
"I think it would be improper, unethical, and wrong for me and the White House to pick up the phone and call an ICE officer and say, 'we know you have encountered someone illegally. We would like you to ignore the laws.'" he said.
"If we remove 10 criminal aliens and end up saving as a result one or two or three or four American lives, that is magnificent," he said. "Because somewhere across this country today there is some young child facing some unknown danger and that danger will be eliminated because of some enforcement action that we're going the take in the coming days. And that is something we should celebrate, not criticize."
He also defended Trump's travel ban, disputing a federal judge's contention that there have been no terrorists from the seven Muslim-majority nations targeted in the ban.
"That is a factually false statement," he declared. "There's at least several dozen, perhaps many more than that, cases of terrorism from these countries that have happened in the United States in terms of terroristic plots, terroristic activity, …"
Miller also accused the media of going overboard on its coverage of Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, who was criticized for promoting Ivanka Trump's merchandise.
"I think people are blowing this way out of proportion," he said,."You had the president of the United States sticking up for a member of his family. You had a counselor to the president making a light-hearted comment in defense of someone treated very unfairly. I think the media has taken it to a level it does not merit."
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