White House aide Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta verbally sparred Wednesday over the Trump administration’s new immigration policy.
Acosta, who said his father came to the U.S. from Cuba, pressed Miller on whether the policy best represents American tradition as it gives preference to English-speaking immigrants.
“You are sort of bringing a ‘press 1 for English’ philosophy here to immigration and that’s never been what the United States has been about,” he said at a White House press briefing.
“Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?” he asked Miller, who is President Trump’s senior advisor to policy.
Miller then struck back, speaking over Acosta while the journalist continuing tried interjecting himself into the debate.
“I can honestly say: I am shocked at your statement that you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English,” he said. “It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree.”
“That you think that only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who speak English from all over the world,” Miller added.
“Jim, have you honestly ever met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Britain and Australia?”
Some Twitter users on Wednesday picked Miller as the winner of the Trump administration’s latest clash with the media.
Other people on the social media platform voiced support for Acosta, who is CNN’s senior White House correspondent.
In a fun misappropriation of reality, a number of people seem to think Stephen Miller "destroyed" Jim Acosta in that train wreck presser— Ian Fortey (@IanFortey) August 2, 2017
Saw some people celebrate Stephen Miller "schooling" Jim Acosta. If that's the desired relationship between WH & the press, good luck.— BCC (@ByCommonConsent) August 2, 2017
Wednesday’s back-and-forth ultimately escalated, with Acosta saying the Trump administration is trying to “engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.”
Miller derided Acosta’s accusation as “one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said.”
Trump announced earlier Wednesday that he and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) had agreed on language for immigration law reform.
The new legislation would focus on a “merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers.”
The qualifications that would reportedly help a would-be immigrant enter the U.S. will include proficiency in the English language.