During an August 2 press briefing, President Donald Trump’s senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller explained the president’s support of the RAISE Act, a Republican sponsored immigration proposal that would prioritize immigration based on the “skills” immigrants bring to the country and favor English speakers over non-English speaking immigrants. Miller’s contentious back and forth with reporters during the briefing to promote the anti-immigrant proposal gained the praise and admiration of pro-Trump trolls and white nationalists.
Stephen Miller press briefing on Trump’s support of RAISE Act
President Donald J. Trump backs RAISE Act. The White House released a statement on Trump’s support of the RAISE act which would “create a merit-based immigration system” that prioritized English-speaking, “highly skilled immigrants.” From the August 2 press release (emphasis original):
Bill will create a merit-based immigration system that protects our workers, our taxpayers, and our economy
THE RAISE ACT PUTS AMERICAN WORKERS FIRST: President Donald J. Trump supports the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act to prioritize immigrants based on the skills they bring to our Nation while safeguarding the jobs of American workers.
The RAISE Act replaces the current permanent employment-visa framework with a skills-based system that rewards applicants based on their individual merits.
The system rewards education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, past achievements, and entrepreneurial initiative.
This system is similar to the merit-based immigration systems used by Canada and Australia.
The RAISE Act reduces overall immigration numbers to limit low-skilled and unskilled labor entering the United States.
The RAISE Act prioritizes immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and minor children, but ends preferences for extended family members and adult children.
United States citizens needing to take care of elderly parents can receive renewable, temporary visas for them.
The RAISE Act eliminates the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.
The RAISE Act limits permanent resident status for refugees to 50,000 a year, in line with the 13-year average. [The White House, 8/2/17]
Stephen Miller attacks CNN’s Jim Acosta during the press briefing on RAISE Act. During the August 2 press conference, Miller attacked CNN's Jim Acosta as having a “cosmopolitan bias” for asking whether Trump’s support of the RAISE Act, was in line with the ideals inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:
Acosta referred to Trump's plan to award points to green-card applicants based on English proficiency and asked, “Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”
Rather than defend the fairness of Trump's proposed emphasis on English skills, Miller said Acosta had just insulted English speakers from every country other than Britain and Australia.
“I am shocked at your statement, that you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English,” he said. “It's actually — it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree. … This is an amazing moment. That you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would know English is so insulting to millions of hard-working 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 and Australia? Is that your personal experience?” [The Washington Post, 8/2/17]
Pro-Trump trolls support Stephen Miller’s contentious press conference attacking a reporter
Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich: “WATCH Stephen Miller's EPIC Shutdown of CNN's #FakeNews reporter @Acosta during today's briefing!”
— Lucian B. Wintrich (@lucianwintrich) August 2, 2017
Right-wing internet troll Jack Posobiec: “Stephen Miller every single day. Why wasn't he out there from the start?”
Stephen Miller every single day. Why wasn't he out there from the start?
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 2, 2017
Posobiec later posted a video endorsing Miller for White House communications director.
Stephen Miller for Comms Director! https://t.co/KzwjnFYYSj
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 2, 2017
Right-wing troll Baked Alaska: “Stephen Miller stands up for the American worker, not these damn foreigners. Please give us more Miller. #MAGA.”
— Baked Alaska™ (@bakedalaska) August 2, 2017
Ann Coulter: Miller’s press conference was “the best moment of the Trump presidency since the inauguration.”
This press conference is the best moment of the Trump presidency since the inauguration.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 2, 2017
Fox News’ Charles Gasparino praises Miller’s comments. From the August 2 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CHARLES GASPARINO: By the way, he's agreeing with Stephen Miller. What Stephen Miller, yes you are, what Stephen Miller said is the emphasis, the emphasis on immigration policy should be on need and integration and how much you can help benefit the country. Of course, a Ph.D. student benefits the country more than some poor guy from wherever. Now, my heart goes out to the poor guy --
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): But the administration kind of nakedly relayed that today, that we don't want the poor guy who doesn't bring any added value to come to this country. That's what they're saying
GASPARINO: That is the tried and true immigration policy of this nation for many, many years.
GASPARINO: Why treat a Ph.D. with some guy, equal to some guy that's illiterate? It makes no economic sense and the system that you're advocating actually says that. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/2/17]
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson says Jim Acosta and CNN are filled with “absolute moral certainty and boundless righteousness.” From the August 2 edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Jim Acosta and the network he works for don't know much at all about this subject. They don’t know how many immigrants come here every year or how. They don't have any clue as to how many should come ideally. They know very little of the economic effect those immigrants have on Americans who already live here because they don't care enough to find out. They are utterly ignorant on the subject of immigration and yet, and here is the amazing part: They are still filled with absolute moral certainty and boundless self-righteousness. They are buffoons in other words, the drunk guy at the party with bad breath who won't stop talking. Wow, is that embarrassing. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8/2/17]
White nationalists praised Stephen Miller’s press conference on immigration
White Nationalist Richard Spencer: “Stephen Miller is effective and tough dealing with the press.”
Stephen Miller is effective and tough dealing with the press. https://t.co/0PdjZbnBpg
— Richard ☝🏻Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) August 2, 2017
White Nationalist Hunter Wallace: “The more we see from Bannon, Sessions, and Stephen Miller and the less #TruCons bullshit and Cohn and Kushner the better”
The more we see from Bannon, Sessions and Stephen Miller and the less #TruCons bullshit and Cohn and Kushner the better
— Hunter Wallace (@occdissent) August 2, 2017
White Nationalist Jared Taylor: “Trump wants merit-based immigration, would get rid of the “diversity lottery,” and cut immigration in half! #MAGA.”
— Jared Taylor (@jartaylor) August 2, 2017