Stephen Miller teaches “journalist” Acosta about history
We all know that CNN’s Jim Acosta enjoys playing the role as an activist instead of a journalist, anything to bring attention to himself. He attempted to do just that on Wednesday, but fell flat on his face and made a fool of himself and his employer.
President Donald Trump’s policy advisor Stephen Miller attended the White House press briefing to explain the RAISE act, an immigration policy, that Trump endorsed Wednesday morning.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) developed the plan and Trump explained that the “application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy.”
Acosta tried to debate Miller on the English speaking part of the RAISE act and failed miserably.
The Exchange Between Acosta and Miller
Here’s the exchange:
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?
MR. MILLER: Well, first of all, right now it’s a requirement that to be naturalized you have to speak English. So the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of our immigration system would be actually very ahistorical.
Secondly, I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.
But more fundamentally, the history —
Q You’re saying that that does not represent what the country —
MR. MILLER: I’m saying that the notion —
Q — has always thought of as immigration coming into this country?
MR. MILLER: I’m saying the notion —
Yes, the conversation became about the Statue of Liberty with Acosta saying that the speech on the statue is law of the land:
Q — and they’re not always going to speak English, Stephen. They’re not always going to be highly skilled. They’re not always going to be somebody who can go to work at Silicon Valley right away.
MR. MILLER: Jim, I appreciate your speech. So let’s talk about this.
Q It was a modest and incremental speech.
MR. MILLER: Jim, let’s talk about this. In 1970, when we let in 300,000 people a year, was that violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty law of the land? In the 1990s, when it was half-a-million a year, was it violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty law of the land?
Q Was it violating the Statue of Liberty and the —
MR. MILLER: No, tell me what years — tell me what years —
Q (Inaudible) call for a deportation force?
MR. MILLER: 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? 900,000 violates it? 800,000 violates it?
But here’s the meat and potatoes of the whole thing. Acosta starts to feel like he’s winning and thinks it’s smart to imply that only people in Great Britain and Australia can speak English. Miller destroys the ignorance that Acosta just presented:
Yes, people who immigrate to this country can eventually — people who immigrate to this country not through Ellis Island, as your family may have, but in other ways, do obtain a Green Card at some point. They do it through a lot of hard work. And, yes, they may learn English as a second language later on in life. But this whole notion of “well, they have to learn English before they get to the United States,” are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?
MR. MILLER: Jim, it’s actually — I have to honestly say I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It’s actually — it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind —
Q Sir, it’s not a cosmopolitan —
MR. MILLER: No, this is an amazing moment. This an amazing moment. That you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak English from all over the world.
Q My father came to this country not speaking any English.
MR. MILLER: Jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain and Australia? Is that your personal experience?
Q Of course, there are people who come into this country from other parts of the world.
MR. MILLER: But that’s not what you said, and it shows your cosmopolitan bias. And I just want to say —
Q It just sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.
MR. MILLER: Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said, and for you that’s still a really — the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.
Why Miller is Correct
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, backed up Miller in an opinion piece at Politico. First off, Lowry wrote that it doesn’t make sense to align 21st century immigration policy to a 19th century poem.
Acosta only has a problem with the English speaking portion of the bill, unaware that speaking English in other countries help workers. Lowry reminds Acosta that 125 million people in India speak English. Miller is correct: speaking English “is already a requirement for naturalization.”
And if we really have to have a lesson on the Statue of Liberty here it is:
When Miller pointed out that Lady Liberty was conceived as a symbol of … liberty and the famous Emma Lazarus poem added later, Acosta accused him of “national park revisionism”—even though Miller was correct.
At the dedication of the statue in 1886, President Grover Cleveland declared that the statue’s “stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression until Liberty enlightens the world.” His soaring oration did not include the admonition that so-called comprehensive immigration reform would henceforth be considered the only acceptable immigration policy for the United States.
Lazarus’ poem was added in a plaque in 1903. The words are not, as Acosta and so many others believe, emblazoned on the statue itself—the plaque is now displayed in an exhibition within the pedestal.
Tucker Carlson Blasts Acosta Over His Ignorance
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has never been one to hold back. During his opening segment, Carlson blasted Acosta and CNN for the behavior displayed at the White House:
“They are utterly ignorant on the subject of immigration,” said Carlson. “And yet and here’s the amazing part, they are still filled with absolute moral certainty and boundless self-righteousness. They are buffoons, in other words. They are the drunk at the party with bad breath who won’t stop talking. Wow, is that embarrassing!”
Conservative author Mark Steyn joined Carlson, who also could not believe Acosta implied that only those from Great Britain and Australia speak English:
Carlson and his guest, conservative author Mark Steyn, mocked Acosta’s assertion that the new immigration plan is designed to only “bring in people from Great Britain and Australia.”
“The idea that this is just some pasty white man’s language is so deranged,” Steyn said. “Almost a third of the members of the United Nations are proficient English more or less.”
Carlson added, “Jim Acosta thinks English is a race.”
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