Stephen Colbert still can’t get over Stephen Miller’s attempt to sell President Donald Trump’s new immigration policy, which would aim to cut legal immigration into the U.S. in half. “It does it by issuing visas based on a point system,” the Late Show host said Thursday night. “Kind of like Weight Watchers, but the goal is to lose brown people.”
He mocked the administration’s plan as promoting “the classic immigrant tale: You came 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 zeroed in on the “astonishing revision of history” that happened at Wednesday’s press conference, when Miller argued the famous Emma Lazarus poem—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”—was not part of the original Statue of Liberty and therefore should not reflect America’s immigration policy.
“Uh, listen, I don’t want to have to give you a whole history lesson, but the poem was added later and distorted the meaning of the statue,” Colbert said, parodying Miller. “The torch was originally intended as a weapon to ward off immigrants, who naturally fear fire, and the spikes on her crown were meant to deter foreigners from landing in hot-air balloons. Look it up.”
“Now, there’s a lot of crazy in his explanation there,” the host added. “First off, I’ve never seen a presidential administration refuse to fully endorse the Statue of Liberty. What are they going to do next?” Morphing into Trump, he said, “I don’t know, Liberty Bell? I like bells that don’t crack.”
“Here’s the thing about the poem on the Statue of Liberty,” Colbert continued. “I agree with Stephen Miller that we’re never going to live up to it. It’s an aspirational document like ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ or ‘All men are created equal,’ or ‘Employees must wash hands before returning to work.’ It’s something to strive for. Just because we don’t, doesn’t make it meaningless.”
“But maybe he’s right. Maybe we need to put a new poem on the Statue of Liberty,” Colbert added, raising a torch in the air. “Give me your wealthy, your rich, your huddled MBAs earning 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. P.S.: No fatties, please.”