White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller clashed with New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush over cutting legal immigration levels at the White House press briefing on Wednesday.
Miller appeared in the press briefing room to publicly advocate, on behalf of President Donald Trump, for the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. This legislation, introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and David Perdue (R., Ga.), expects to cut legal immigration by half in order to raise wages and create jobs for American workers.
Thrush asked Miller to provide statistics, claiming that there are several studies that do not show a "correlation between low-skilled immigration and the loss of jobs for workers." He went on to say that sources told him a month earlier that the Trump administration pushed infrastructure aside to get immigration on the table.
Miller said that the latter question was based on false information and cited George Borjas, a professor of economics at the Harvard Kennedy School, for his study on how immigration is hurting the American worker.
Miller went on to list several immigration studies, but Thrush interrupted him to ask for statistics, speaking over Miller.
"Maybe it's time we had compassion, Glenn, for American workers. President Trump has met with American workers who have been replaced by foreign workers and ask them how this has affected their lives," Miller said.
"If you look at the premise, Glenn, of bringing in low-skilled labor, it's based on the idea that there's a labor shortage for lower-skilled jobs. There isn't," he said. "The number of people living in the United States in the working ages who aren't working today is at a record high."
Miller said that the number of African-American men without a high school diploma has "plummeted some 40 percentage points" since the mass wave of unskilled migration began.
Thrush was not the only reporter who Miller clashed with during the White House briefing, as he also sparred with CNN's Jim Acosta, according to the Washington Free Beacon.