Trump aide Stephen Miller schools CNN's Jim Acosta on immigration


White House aide Stephen Miller took CNN's Jim Acosta to school on Wednesday. The two men clashed over the Trump administration's new immigration proposal.


MILLER: But you're also -- your statement's also shockingly ahistorical in another respect, too, which is if you look at the history of immigration, it's actually ebbed and flowed. We've had periods of very large waves, followed by periods of less immigration, and more immigration.

And during the -- we've had...

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: ... a period of immigration right now...

MILLER: ... yeah, it's (ph)...

ACOSTA: ... the president wants to build a wall...

MILLER: ... it's actually -- it's actually...

ACOSTA: ... you wants to bring about a sweeping change to the immigration...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Surely, Jim, you don't actually think that a wall affects green card policy. You couldn't possibly believe that, do you?

Actually -- and the notion that you actually think immigration is at a historic low, the foreign-born population of the United States today...

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: ... with the...

MILLER: Jim. Jim.

ACOSTA: ... new chief of staff on Monday, talking about how border crossings were...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: ... do you really -- I want to be serious, Jim. Do you really, at CNN, not know the difference between green card policy and illegal immigration?

ACOSTA: Sir, my...

MILLER: I mean, you really don't know that?

ACOSTA: ... my father is a Cuban immigrant. He came to this country in 1962, right before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and obtained a green card. Yes, people who immigrate to this country...

MILLER: OK, so -- so you do (ph).

ACOSTA: ... can eventually -- people who immigrate to this country through...

MILLER: Jim, as a factual question -- Jim...

ACOSTA: ... not through Ellis Island, as your family may have...

MILLER: Jim, as a factual -- Jim, as a factual question...


(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: ... other (ph) ways, do obtain a green card at some point. They do it through a lot of hard work, and yes, they may learn English as a second language later on in life.

MILLER: So -- but -- Jim.

ACOSTA: But this whole -- this whole notion of, "Well, they could learn -- you know, they have to learn English before they get to the United States," are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?

MILLER: Jim, it's -- actually -- I honestly say I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It's actually -- it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree, that in your mind...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: No, this is an amazing -- this is an amazing moment.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: This is an amazing moment, that you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English. It's so insulting to millions of hard-working immigrants who do speak English from all over the world.

ACOSTA: My -- my father came to this country...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Jim, have you honestly -- 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?

ACOSTA: So there are -- of course, there are people who come...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: But that's not what you said. And it shows -- it shows your cosmopolitan bias.

And I just want to say...

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: ... this sounds like you're trying to engineer the racial...

MILLER: I just want to say...

ACOSTA: ... and ethnic flow of people into this country through policy.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said. And for you, that's still a really -- the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong...

ACOSTA: I didn't say that it was a racist bill.

MILLER: ... and so insulting.

Jim, the reality is -- is that the foreign-born population into our country has quadrupled since 1970. That's a fact. It's been mostly driven by green card policy.

Now, this bill allows for immediate, nuclear family members to come into the country, much as they would today, and it adds an additional points-based system.

The people who have been hurt the most...

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