CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller had a showdown during today’s press briefing, but before getting into their battle on immigration, Acosta quoted the poem on the Statue of Liberty, which Miller swiftly dismissed.
Acosta started his question asking about the immigration policy the White House announced today cracking down on legal immigration:
“What you’re proposing here, what the president is proposing, 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 breathe free.’ Doesn’t say anything about speaking English or 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?”
Miller, however, didn’t spend long on this argument, not deeming the poem, that was in fact added to the statue 17 years after it opened, not relevant to the debate of immigration.
“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lightening the world, of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to was added later; it’s not actually an original part of the Statue of Liberty.”
Acosta fired back saying that what Miller was doing “sounds like some national park revisionism.” Miller countered by talking about the amounts of immigrants coming into the country throughout history, ending with the question: “Tell me, what year meets Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem’s law of the land?”
You can watch above, via C-SPAN.
[image via screengrab]