OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Republican Charles Herbster has wrapped his run for governor in his unwavering support for former President Donald Trump.
Herbster attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally near the White House in the hours before some participants stormed the Capitol. He wore a VIP tag.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway kicked off Herbster’s Nebraska campaign this spring. Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski helped steer his campaign staff for months.
Now Herbster is working with Trump’s adviser on immigration, Stephen Miller. Miller wrote many of Trump’s immigration policies, including one that separated families at the border.
3 News Now Investigators confirmed Miller’s involvement with Herbster and his campaign by listening to a telephone town hall Thursday that Herbster hosted with Nebraskans.
Herbster joined the call from his border trip this week to Texas and Arizona, which he said Miller arranged. Herbster’s staff say Miller is helping the campaign, but not working for it.
“Stephen Miller was in the White House, was in charge of immigration, worked with President Trump,” Herbster said on the call. “And it’s great to have him on the Herbster team.”
Miller, who joined the call, said he fully supports Herbster’s vision to reduce immigration at the state level, a vision that Herbster has not yet detailed.
“Charles has committed to me that if he is governor of Nebraska he will use his authority, working with the state Legislature, to pass the kinds of laws that are necessary to discourage illegal immigrants from settling and working in the State of Nebraska,” Miller said. “And he will also pass the kinds of laws that are necessary as well to try to prevent the influx of refugees.”
Nebraska is home to thousands of immigrants, including some who are in the country illegally. They live in communities large and small.
The state also welcomes more refugees than many states its size, thanks to local nonprofits like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Family Services, which help with refugee resettlement.
It welcomed 125 refugees over the past year, according to State Department statistics.
A recent study by the University of Nebraska at Omaha says immigrants, including refugees, contribute more to Nebraska’s economy than they take out.
But Herbster and Miller describe what’s happening at the nation’s southern border as a threat to American culture. Experts call such language coded.
“The chaotic disaster that the Biden administration has created is absolutely uncalled for and will change the entire culture of the greatest country on the face of the Earth,” Herbster told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon this week on Bannon’s podcast, “Bannon’s War Room.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which identifies and studies hate groups, dedicates an entire web page to Miller. Among other things, they highlight his ties to white supremacists.
Michael Hayden, a spokesman for the SPLC, says Miller’s actions show he does not think highly of Nebraskans, nor does he care about the people who live in the state.
“He is primarily interested in going after his favorite scapegoat, which are people of color,” Hayden said. “The Republican Party can do a lot better than this. This is not a partisan issue.”
Herbster said during the call that he’s hearing from Customs and Border Patrol agents who say they need more help from the federal government and states like Nebraska.
Herbster said he would send more state resources to the border, because the Biden administration isn’t doing enough. He also said that’s what Nebraskans tell him they want.
This month, Nebraska sent an additional 190 members of the Nebraska Army National Guard to the border. Many will be there about a year, under orders from President Joe Biden.
Said Herbster: “These people that are coming in across the border, they don’t give a damn about America. I’m just gonna be direct. That’s the way farmers talk. But I can tell you, the only reason they’re coming across to this country is most of them want to destroy the country. We’ll be a Venezuela in a decade if we don’t close the damn border on the southern part of this country.”
Katrina Markel and Aaron Hegarty also contributed to this report.