It’s not uncommon for the White House press briefings to be without a bit of contention between the administration and members of the press, but Wednesday’s showdown between White House policy adviser Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta went to different heights.
Miller, whose messaging style can often be abrasive, went back and forth with Acosta over certain measures found in the RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) Act that have been perceived as limiting to legal immigration:
“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,” Acosta said. He asked if the administration was “trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country.”
Miller hit back, telling him that the requirement to speak English is already in place.
“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,” Miller also added.
From there, the men continued to argue about immigration, often delving into personal attacks.