During Wednesday’s White House Press Briefing, Stephen Miller, a senior advisor for President Trump, had a heated exchange with several aggressive members of the media. The reporters were upset over a proposed revamp of America’s immigration system that President Trump has proposed and Miller was presenting.
CNN’s Jim Acosta was particularly triggered, who chose to form his questions in the form of a rant. Instead of discussing the finer points of the plan, Acosta launched into a tirade about the Statue of Liberty. “What the president’s proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration,” he said. “The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.’ It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if you’re telling them, you have to speak English? Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?”
Rather than back down, Miller snapped right back. After exchanging points on learning English and the number of green cards being issued, Miller asked Acosta for specifics on what sort of entry numbers would do justice to the Emma Lazarus poem. “Tell me what years meet Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem law of the land. So you’re saying a million a year is the Statue of Liberty number?” he asked.
“You’re sort of bringing a press one for English philosophy here to immigration and that’s never been what the United States has been about, Stephen,” Acosta responded. “Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?” he asked.
Stephen Miller became incensed at the statement. “I have to say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English,” he said. “It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree.”
“It just sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country,” Acosta said.
“That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said…The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.”
Afterward, Acosta said on CNN that a “bias against Latino immigrants has just sort of infected” the administration. “I think you saw some of that spill out in the briefing room today.”
Watch the exchange. It’s amazing.