6 Facts About Stephen Miller:
- Miller graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2003.
- Miller graduated from Duke University in 2007. At Duke, Miller helped notorious White Supremacist, Richard Spencer, with organizing the nascent “Alt-Right” movement.
- As a Junior in high school, Miller wrote a letter to The Lookout, a local publication, about his negative impression of Hispanic students and the use of Spanish in the United States. In that same article, he also complained about his school’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the existence of a gay club and a visit by a Muslim leader.
- As a high student, Miller vehemently denied that racism existed.
- A contemporary of Miller’s: “He had a lot of grudges. He didn’t go out of his way to go to dances or to have girlfriends. I don’t remember ever seeing him smile.”
- Prior to working for Trump, Miller worked for Michelle Bachmann and then Jeff Sessions in the Senate.
Stephen Miller and Jason Islas grew up in sunny southern California in the late 1990s, united by their passion for Star Trek. But Miller stopped talking to his friend as they prepared to jump from Lincoln Middle School to Santa Monica High School.
Miller only returned Islas’ phone calls at the end of the summer, to coldly explain the reason for his estrangement. “I can’t be your friend any more because you are Latino,” Islas remembers him saying.
Islas recalled that Miller mentioned other reasons, which he considered “childish.” But that was his first sign of the change Miller would undergo when he was 14 years old: a political radicalization that defines his life even now as a senior White House adviser with direct access to President Donald Trump.
Miller, now 31, and Stephen Bannon, former executive director of the populist Breitbart website, have been described as the main architects of Trump’s immigration policies.
Several reports identified Miller as the brains behind the controversial executive order that temporarily banned people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. With Bannon, he also wrote Trump’s aggressively nationalist inauguration speech and in July wrote a draft of Trump’s acceptance speech to the Republican presidential nominating convention.
Miller’s precocious politization as he entered Santa Monica High was even more surprising because the school, just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, prided itself as a multicultural space where diversity was celebrated. Hispanics were the single largest minority, with 30 percent of the 3,400 students, and ethnic clubs like MEChA and The Chicanx de Aztlan Student Movement. African Americans followed at 12 percent and Asians made up 5 percent.
In liberal Santa Monica, students in the city’s largest high school tended to hold progressive ideas, to be environmentally conscious and open minded.
But Miller went the other way. He quickly stood out as a contentious and provocative student whose conservative and ultra-nationalist politics put him continuously at odds with teachers, administrators and students.