All the Moments From Miller’s Raise Act Press Conference That’ll Make You Want to Smash Your Screen
Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Stephen Miller talks to reporters about President Donald Trump's support for creating a 'merit-based immigration system' in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House August 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News
Today, President Donald Trump announced his support for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a bill that would mark a drastic turn in the United States’ immigration system. According to The New York Times, Trump intends to cut legal immigration by half by limiting the people residents and citizens can bring into the country and by applying a merit-based system that prioritizes those who are English speakers and are more educated.
“This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump said. “This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”
As the Miami Herald reports, the proposed plan would only allow residents and citizens to sponsor immediate family members. It would cut the diversity visa lottery program, which earmarks 50,000 green cards for people from places with “historically low rates of immigration to the United States,” and limit resident status for refugees at 50,000 a year.
RAISE would particularly affect Latin American, Asian, and African immigrants. Many are already waiting in line, and this would further extend those waits. It also further shut out those who are constantly told to immigrate to the United States the “right way.”
After Trump’s announcement, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Stephen Miller held press conference about the act. And it was batshit. Here are the moment that will make you want to smash your laptop.
When he shat on the Statue of Liberty poem
Trump advisor Stephen Miller and CNN's Jim Acosta just got in an argument about the poem on the Statue of Liberty pic.twitter.com/WlGtL7b75v
Cuban-American journalist Carlos Acosta told Miller that in requiring that incoming immigrants speak English, the Trump Administration isn’t “keeping with American tradition” and following the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Miller replied, “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 systems would be very ahistorical. Secondly, I don’t want to get off on a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lightening the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.”
So not only did he shit on the Statue of Liberty poem, he also erroneously stated that English is a requirement for naturalization. Though English is a part of the test, exceptions are made for those who are 50 or older and have lived in the US with a green card for more than 20 years (or are 55 and older and have had a green card for 15 years), those who have “physical or developmental disability or mental impairment,” and in other cases as well, according to Mic.
His statement also doesn’t address one of Costa’s question, “Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?”
When he told Jim Acosta, son of a Cuban immigrant, that he doesn't understand green cards.
When Acosta called out Miller for the Trump Administration’s doublespeak, the White House aide said, “I want to be serious, Jim. Do you really not know at CNN the difference between green card policy and illegal immigration?”
Acosta didn’t let that slide and told Miller that his father is an immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1962. But when he tried to further elaborate, Miller cut him off and lectured him some more.
Trump aide #Stephen Miller lecturing Cuban-American Jim Acosta of CNN on green card policy which his family lived 1st hand #Rude
When Acosta, once again, tried to push Miller on requiring incoming immigrants to speak English and whether or not that meant that this change would benefit people from places like Great Britain and Australia, Miller was insulted. ” 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. 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?”
“Of course there are people who come in from other parts of the world,” Acosta replied. Miller followed up with, “That’s not what you said and it shows your cosmopolitan bias.”
That’s rich coming from Miller, who was raised in Santa Monica and attended Duke.