They say that time wounds all heels. In the case of President Trump's immigration advisors--who implemented racist and anti-Muslim policies, separated parents from children, and generally tried to destroy due process of law in our immigration system--that old saw is largely dis-proven, at least for most of the people we've managed to track down. A year and half after Mr. Trump left office, many of his senior advisors seem to be doing just fine. Some have retired. Others have moved on to (seemingly) lucrative employment in high-level private sector positions. Here, we'll catch up with a few of our old friends from the prior Administration, and find out: Where are they now?

Jeff Sessions
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was an early supporter of the Trump campaign, and so it was not a surprise when he was nominated for U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Sessions served as AG from February 2017 to November 2018, when President Trump forced him to resign. During his tenure, Mr. Sessions helped implement the Administration's anti-immigrant agenda and made it more difficult for asylum seekers to obtain protection in the United States. In 2020, after his resignation, Mr. Sessions tried to return to the U.S. Senate, but he lost in the Republican primary to Tommy Tuberville (who went on to win the general election). President Trump was a key factor in this election and he publicly endorsed Mr. Tuberville over his old Attorney General. In 2021, Mr. Sessions, age 75, announced that he had no further plans to run for office and he wanted new people to take the lead of our country. After his 2020 loss, which effectively ended his political career, he noted that, "I leave elective office with my integrity intact."

Kirstjen Nielsen
Ms. Nielsen originally joined the Trump Administration as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. After Mr. Kelly started a new position in the White House, Ms. Nielsen was sworn in as DHS Secretary in December 2017. During her year and a half in office, Ms. Nielsen pushed for a border wall, oversaw the "Remain in Mexico" policy, and most notoriously, implemented the Administration's policy of separating families at the border. She was forced to resign in 2019 because President Trump wanted someone "tougher" on immigration. A few months ago, Ms. Nielsen joined cryptocurrency company Astra Protocol as a strategic advisor. Her job is to help "efficiently navigate an ever-changing governmental and regulatory landscape while forging new institutional partnerships." She also works as a cyber-security policy consultant. After she left office, Ms. Nielsen was subject to a campaign by immigrant and civil rights advocates to convince Fortune 500 companies and academic institutions to refuse employment to former high-level Trump Administration officials. Whether that campaign limited her options, it is difficult to say, but certainly she has not done as well as some other DHS Secretaries, including Janet Napolitano, who left DHS to become President of the University of California and Jeh Johnson, who is a partner at a major law firm and who serves on the boards of directors of several large corporations.

Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller, age 36, was Senior Policy Advisor to President Trump from 2017 to 2021. Mr. Miller is well-known as the force behind many of the Trump Administration's most vicious anti-immigration policies (I previously wrote about him here). Shortly after President Trump left office, Mr. Miller and a number of other white men from the Trump Administration launched a new legal group called America First Legal. The tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization aims to “oppose the radical left’s anti-jobs, anti-freedom, anti-faith, anti-borders, anti-police, and anti-American crusade” through impact litigation and public policy advocacy. Mr. Miller is married to Katie Waldman, who formerly worked for Vice President Pence, and the couple has two young children.

E. Scott Lloyd
E. Scott Lloyd worked as the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2017 to 2018 (I wrote about him here). Although he had no prior experience resettling refugees or running a large organization, he was tasked with overseeing the U.S. government's $1.5 billion refugee resettlement program. In that role, Mr. Lloyd pushed a pro-life agenda and personally intervened to try to block pregnant migrant teens in ORR custody from seeking abortions. In 2020, Mr. Lloyd ran for town council in Front Royal, a lovely small town in rural Virginia, and won a four-year term. However, he resigned in March 2022 after only 15 months due to "potential conflicts of interest between his personal business interests and public service as an elected official." While on the council, he initiated an unsuccessful effort to re-name a local road after President Trump. Presumably Mr. Lloyd will be pursuing his business interests and spending time with his large family--he is married and has seven children.

John Kelly
After a long career in the military, John Kelly was confirmed as President Trump's first Secretary of Homeland Security in 2017. He soon became White House Chief of Staff, where he served from 2017 to 2019. General Kelly played a role in forming Administration policy concerning immigrants and refugees, including the border wall and the "Muslim ban." He reportedly stated that if it were up to him, the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. would be between zero and one. After General Kelly left the Administration, he joined the board of directors for Caliburn International in 2019. Caliburn (now called Acuity International) is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, which operates shelters for unaccompanied minor children (a/k/a baby jails). More recently, General Kelly has publicly spoken out against Mr. Trump, referring to the former President's "narcissistic outrages where he was screaming and yelling at no one in particular." After the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, General Kelly stated that if he were still a member of the President's cabinet, he would support removing Mr. Trump pursuant to the 25th Amendment.

As Mr. Trump contemplates another run for office, it will be interesting to see who of his old advisors--if any--joins in that effort. Will they publicly support him? Or, in the case of General Kelly, will they speak out against him? Only time will tell.

Special thanks to our summer intern Michelle Maffe for her work on this article and for all her excellent work on behalf of our clients.

Originally posted on the Asylumist: