CNN’s Jim Acosta really has it out for President Trump, the man who called him “fake news” in a declaration heard about the world. That was certainly evident during a press conference Wednesday when Acosta viciously attacked Trump’s newest immigration reform. But he made one big mistake: He lobbied his complaints at a White House advisor who knows far more about U.S. immigration law and history than he does, and it looked really bad for him.
According to CNN, Trump is pushing a plan that would lower the number of immigrants let into the U.S. by making the standards more stringent. His proposal includes preferential admission for immigrants who have a skillset that U.S. economy could benefit from, the ability to speak America’s most widespread language, advanced education, and the job skills necessary to earn enough money to afford health care.
Letting in low-skilled immigrants “has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers,” Trump argued.
NBC Washington is reporting, though, that the U.S. Senate is largely ignoring Trump’s proposal. The GOP is showing little interest in reforming immigration policy this year, despite it being a key issue for Trump voters during the election.
CNN’s Acosta revealed his clear anti-Trump bias again when he attacked the plan with everything he had, desperately trying to paint it as discriminatory and un-American. But had made the mistake of complaining to White House Advisor Stephen Miller, who was leading that portion of Wednesday’s White House press briefing.
“What the president is proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration,” Acosta argued to Miller, looking down to read a poem by Emma Lazarus, “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?”
That’s when Miller started schooling Acosta on U.S. immigration law and history, saying, “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 part of our immigration system would actually be very a-historical.”
“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 enlightening the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world,” Miller continued. “The poem that you’re referring to was added later [and] is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”
That’s when Acosta protested Miller’s historical fact and began to interrupt the White House advisor repeatedly. Miller asked Acosta what an appropriate — American — number of legal immigrants let in would be, naming the differing number of immigrants allowed in during various years in America’s recent history, but Acosta refused to answer.
Then Acosta brought up Trump’s border wall, to which Miller replied, “Surely, Jim, you don’t actually think that the wall affects green card policy. Do you really, at CNN, not know the difference between green card policy and illegal immigration?”
When Acosta suggested that an English-speaker policy would restrict legal immigrants solely to those from Great Britain and Australia, Miller had a hard time not laughing.
He replied, “I can honestly say, I am shocked at your statement…. It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind — this is 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. Jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain or Australia?”
Acosta plowed ahead saying, “It sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.”
“Jim, that’s one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said!” Miller exclaimed. “The notion that you think this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.”
Watch the full, explosive change below:
What do you think of this? Here’s what Trump himself said about the plan as he explained it in depth.