President Donald Trump’s proposed changes to immigration and refugee policies are “not keeping with American tradition,” declared CNN’s Jim Acosta during Wednesday’s White House press briefing.
Acosta framed the Trump administration’s proposed reforms as contrary to American values.
Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller waxed historical, noting that today’s flow of foreigners to the homeland is historically unprecedented in terms of both the total volume of persons and the cultural backgrounds of the newcomers.
Miller derided Acosta for connecting English proficiency to would-be migrants from part of the Anglosphere. Partial transcript below:
ACOSTA: What you’re proposing, or what the president’s proposing here, does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. The Statue of Liberty says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free.” It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being 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 they have to speaks English? Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?
MILLER: 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 immigration systems would actually be very ahistorical. ...
MILLER: I am shocked at your statement that you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree ... This is an amazing moment that you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hard-working immigrants who do speak English from all over the world. Jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain or Australia? Is that your personal experience?
ACOSTA: Sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.
Miller framed Acosta's left-wing advocacy as amounting to a call for "unfettered, uncontrolled migration"; policies he said would mostly hurt "immigrant workers, minority workers, African-American workers, and Hispanic workers."
Upon hearing "African-American," April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks interjected, positioning herself as a de facto representative of blacks at the White House press briefing.
Watch the exchange below.
CNN presents itself as a politically objective and non-partisan news media outlet, billing itself “The Most Trusted Name In News.”
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