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CNN’s Jim Acosta Unloaded On Trump Admin For Trumpeting White Nationalist Rhetoric

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Following the announcement of Trump’s Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, in which it’s proposed that we replace “our low-skilled [immigration] system with a points-based system,” senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was taken to task for what seemed to him an attempt to totally redefine American immigration.

CNN’s Jim Acosta asked, “What you’re proposing — or 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’. 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 that you have to speak English? Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?”

Miller countered by saying that being able to speak English is presently part of the naturalization process. He then went on to say, “I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

Miller is correct that the statue did not arrive bearing the poem, but has anyone argued otherwise? The poem is not written in French nor does it adorn the body of the statue. Emma Lazarus, who was a wealthy Jewish socialite, was asked to compose the poem “New Colossus” in 1883 as part of a fundraising effort to build the statue’s base. In 1903, the poem was added to the base.

What’s important here, whether Stephen Miller knew it or not, is that he was dog-whistling white nationalists who have been long opposed to the poem both because of its inclusive tone and also because of its author’s identity.

Always white nationalist – sometimes neo-confederate – Occidental Dissent was delighted that Miller shares their views. One wants to give Miller the benefit of the doubt here, but since he was also one of the most vocal supporters of banning immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in which Donald Trump doesn’t conduct business, it’s a struggle.


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