I recently attended a meeting of the Media Roundtable in Sarasota, FL. The group of over 40 attendees are former owners, executives, leaders, reporters and TV personalities in the news/media industry. The discussion came up about the First Amendment. All agreed that the First Amendment was critical to a Constitutional Republican form of government. The vast majority of those in attendance self identify as Democrats.
Recently White House strategist Stephen Miller appeared on CNN with Jake Tapper. The interview briefly made the headlines because of Tapper cutting off the interview by saying “I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.” As a former radio talk show host I learned that it is best to allow a guest on my program the freedom to express themselves and let the audience decide how to interpret the interview.
QUESTION: Is CNN and Mr. Tapper interested in allowing freedom of speech?
You decide after watching a followup interview done with Mr. Miller by Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel:
FULL TRANSCRIPT, VIA FOX NEWS:
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Stephen Miller joins us tonight.
Stephen Miller, thanks a lot for coming on.
STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE POLICY ADVISER: Hey. Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: So, CNN called around to news organizations and said you were escorted off the set by security. Presumably you are not a physical threat, you are not armed. My question is, but they thought you were a threat. Do you think if you have been, I don’t know, a member of MS-13 here illegally, that CNN would have had security pull you off the set?
MILLER: I assume if I was a member of MS-13 here illegally, they would be clamoring to get me into the voting booth. But I think that — I think that like many things CNN says, like this story has the most important virtue of all CNN stories as being not true.
CARLSON: Well, here’s what we know is true, and here’s what —
MILLER: An amazing true, but not —
CARLSON: — what was striking to me about the whole thing. So, there was a video apparently taken without your knowledge of you on the set after the segment ended during the commercial break, and someone apparently from CNN, I don’t know who else would have access to it, leaked that to other news organizations.
What do you make of that?
MILLER: Well, it’s just another example of CNN’s very low journalistic standards. But I was glad to have people hear what I said on camera and off camera, which that CNN has been extraordinarily biased, extraordinarily unfair to the president and is not giving their information — their viewers honest information.
CARLSON: So, you wanted to talk about immigration. And the DACA debate is obviously the focus of a lot of energy in the Congress right now. The priorities for the administration you have said are, ending chain migration, financing a border wall and ending the diversity lottery. Of those three, what would you say is the most important priority from your point of view?
MILLER: Well, look, we need them all because the reality is that anything you do on DACA is going to have some predictable consequences, right? You’re going to have an increase in new illegal immigration, so you need to have a wall. You need to close the enforcement loopholes.
And then you’re also going to have an increase in the overall number of people coming into the country and that’s what you have to deal with chain migration. You have to deal with the visa lottery. And these are crucial reforms to make the system work for Americans.
You know, Donald Trump has a very radical idea and that’s that when we make changes to our immigration laws, the group we should be most concerned about are everyday hardworking Americans, the citizens who make this country run, who obey the laws, follow the rules, pay their taxes, show up and vote — the people who are loyal to this country. And Donald Trump is saying our country should be loyal to them in return.
CARLSON: So, Democrats argue back that ending chain migration and ending the diversity lottery would prevent a lot of people — decent people from coming into this country. What’s their argument against financing the border wall?
MILLER: Well —
CARLSON: Why do you think they oppose that?
MILLER: Well, as you know, I mean, they all voted for a border barrier, a hard physical border barrier back in 2006, the Secure Fence Act. Joe Biden voted for it, Barack Obama voted for it. Hillary Clinton voted for, et cetera.
So, that’s — that’s just a new position they apparently have that they are opposed to any form of border security.
CARLSON: What animated it? Why is that an absolute sticking point for Democrats? A bunch of them have said, including in leadership, we’re not supporting anything that includes financing a border wall? Why?
CARLSON: — anything to that?
MILLER: Look, if Democrats oppose a border wall, they’re just saying they want continued, unendingly illegal immigration.
But let me deal with other question, too. You talk about you guys say, well, you know, if you have chain migration, it could keep good people out. There are 7 billion people in the world. Most of them are good, hardworking, decent, honest, principled people. But the reality is there’s a limit to how many people any country can bring in. And we as a country have a right to say we want to bring people based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to be safe, productive citizens, and to uplift the nation as a whole.
You think about our current system of chain migration, Tucker. So, over the last 10 years, we’ve admitted about 10 million people through our chain migration system.
To understand how many people that is, you’re talking about every hour, that’s about the size of a high school auditorium. Every day, it’s the size of a large high school. Every week, a small city. Every month, a medium to average size city. And every year, a very large city, a city the size of Washington, D.C., or almost a San Francisco, every single year, just through chain migration.
What’s the effect of that on taxpayers? What’s the effect of that on wage earners? What’s the effect of that —
CARLSON: And that’s illegal.
MILLER: Right. That’s just folks coming in on green cards through chain migration.
CARLSON: So, what’s the — I always ask this question of proponents of immigration, including of illegal immigration. What is the ideal number of immigrants, people from other countries, moving here every year?
MILLER: Right. And oftentimes, they won’t have an answer to that question.
CARLSON: Well, what’s your answer?
MILLER: The — I mean, I have — I have my own views on it, but I think the important point is ending chain migration, as the president has called for, is necessary not just for economic security but for national security.
You saw the recent attempted terrorist attack in New York. The individual who came here — was brought to the chain migration system, right? They came through her nephew’s green card.
MILLER: And that’s just not a smart way for a country to run its immigration system.
CARLSON: So, what should be the criteria for entry in the United States?
MILLER: Well, you know, Donald Trump supported the RAISE Act. And it looked at things like, what’s your proficiency in the language? What economic skills do you have? Do have a background in sciences? Do you have a background in engineering? Do you have a background in law or writing?
It looked at things like your age. Obviously, you bring in immigrants who are in their 80s or 90s, that’s going to have a significant expense on society. So, you wanted folks primarily in their working years.
CARLSON: But what about — I mean, we interviewed someone last week and said, who will pick the strawberries? I mean, how many immigrants, low-wage, low skilled immigrants do we need a year for the ag sector?
MILLER: Well, as you know, only about 1 percent of the immigrant population of the country works in agriculture. So, it’s discussed a lot but it’s a very small portion of the overall labor force. The typical jobs that a lower skilled immigration worker might do might be construction work, it might be hospitality work, it might be restaurant work, or might be not working at all and just going onto the welfare system if there isn’t a job for that individual.
CARLSON: So, if there’s no clear economic rationale for an immigration system and it doesn’t sound like there is one, there’s no economists saying we need to bring in this number of low skilled immigrants, then why does the Democratic Party support our current system and want to liberalize the current system so vehemently? What motivates them?
MILLER: Well, you are asking the right question, but I think the context of this debate, the question that the president is putting forth for the American people is when we have an immigration system, whose needs are we fundamentally trying to serve? The needs of special interests? The needs of politicians, the needs of foreign countries and foreign nationals, the needs of our own country and our own workers?
And so, at the end of the day, our hope for a bipartisan deal is that you can have enough Democrats say that listening to the voters and the voice of the American people, we want a system that serves American workers first. And what Donald Trump has done that’s so exceptional is for the first time that I can remember, for the first time you can probably remember, we have a president of this country who when he talks but immigration, he talks about what is right for the everyday hardworking person.
CARLSON: We’re almost out of time, so I just want to get to one quick political question, which is: Democrats have said they are not going to come to any deal with these three components in it — border wall, reducing chain migration, ending diversity lottery. Where’s the wiggle room on the White House side?
MILLER: Look, Democrats ultimately have to make a choice. They care a lot about providing benefit to illegal immigrants. We’re saying to them, if you want to make a deal, then you have to both deliver benefits for American families and American taxpayers too. And if both sides are willing to agree with those terms, Tucker, then we can have a deal.
And most importantly, we can have an immigration system that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now produces more assimilation, higher wages, more economic opportunity and better prospect for immigrants and U.S.-born alike.
CARLSON: Stephen Miller, thank you.
MILLER: Hey. Thank you.