This Immigration "Reform" Is Even Worse Than You Might Think

And I'm assuming that you are already thinking that it's awful. Still, it's even worse.

But first let's back up for a moment.

Earlier today, Donald Trump made some garbage remarks as he "endorsed a new bill in the Senate aimed at slashing legal immigration levels over a decade."

Then he sent out poisonous slice of white toast Stephen Miller to talk about how cool the new policy is, during which CNN's Jim Acosta asked if the bill isn't a violation of the principle to "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses," per the Emma Lazarus verse etched into the Statue of Liberty. It's just one slice of an overwhelmingly reprehensible press conference, but it's a very revealing and representative slice.

Acosta: 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 able to be 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 "you have to speak English"? Can't people learn how to speak English when they get here?

Miller: Well, first of all, right now, it's a requirement that, to be naturalized, you had to speak English, so the notion that speaking English wouldn't be a part of our immigration systems would be very ahistorical. Secondly, I don't want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world. It's a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you're referring to was added later. It's not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.
Oh. Well, Donald Trump isn't part of the original White House, so let's disregard him then, too.

In all seriousness, this entire "immigrants have to speak English" premise is abject trash, for a whole bunch of reasons, but let's just start with the fundamental problem of how English-speaking gets assessed and by whom.

To be abundantly clear: I'm not using Iain as an example because I'm unaware of his immense privilege, but because I am keenly aware of it. And having gone through the official immigration process, and been a witness to some of the mistreatment he's gotten as a highly privileged person with accented English, I am incredibly concerned about how this will play out — and I am certain that it will play out even worse than many people expect, because they haven't yet stopped to consider just how shambolic and unreasonable a process this would be.

Time to start making calls again. Urge your Senators to oppose the RAISE Act.

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