White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller delivered a memorable history lesson this week: “The New Colossus,” the iconic poem about “huddled masses” that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, was added to the structure in 1903, 17 years after its unveiling.
Apparently that means the poem doesn't really represent American values.
“The notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of our immigration system would be actually very ahistorical,” Miller argued.
Since the words on Lady Liberty aren't terribly important, Stephen Colbert proposed some new ones on “The Late Show” Thursday night.
Give me your wealthy, your rich, your huddled MBAs yearning to be tax-free.
Send these, the English-speaking, fully insured to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door and lift my leg upon your filthy poor.
The background here is that Trump on Wednesday rolled out a plan to cut legal immigration in half over a decade by reducing green card approvals and implementing a point system to evaluate applicants on such factors as English proficiency, education level and job skills.
Colbert quipped that the point system is “kind of like Weight Watchers, but the goal is to lose brown people.”
“It's the classic immigrant tale,” the comedian continued. “You come here at 28, speaking perfect English, with a briefcase full of cash and a dream that if you work hard, your kids might go to the same college you did.”
Colbert's premise that the Trump plan would favor white applicants suggests that prospective immigrants from certain countries — like, say, the United Kingdom and Australia — would enjoy advantages over those from nations where English is not the primary language and educational opportunities are more limited.