Links to today’s show transcripts:
Why Emma Lazarus’s Iconic Poem “The New Colossus” is Under Attack by the Trump Administration
Opposition is growing to the Trump administration’s new proposal to implement radical changes to U.S. immigration law and slash the number of immigrants allowed into the United States by half. The RAISE Act would create a so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants who speak English, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over President Trump’s push to admit only English-speaking immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes. Acosta asked Miller about the iconic poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the State of Liberty, which reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus’ biographer, Esther Schor, speaks about why Lazarus wrote the poem, how it became one of the most iconic verses about the United States and why she has long been a target of white nationalists.
U.S. Ramps Up Border Militarism as Trump Appoints DHS Head General John Kelly to Chief of Staff
Donald Trump on Wednesday embraced a proposal to slash the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. by half, in what would be the biggest overhaul of immigration law in over half a century. The RAISE Act would create a so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants who speak English, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. The announcement comes as Trump replaced his ousted chief of staff, Reince Priebus, with retired General John Kelly, who was head of the Department of Homeland Security.
“If I Was President”: Chicano Band Las Cafeteras on Pushing an Agenda of Migrant & Food Justice
Los Angeles-based Chicano band Las Cafeteras joins the Democracy Now! studio for an interview and performance. The band has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “a uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock.” This year they released a new album called “Tastes Like L.A.” with the hit single, “If I was President.” “In the left, we’re always talking about what we’re against,” says one of the two co-founders of the band, Hector Flores. “We really want to reimagine and really think what we’re for, because the day is coming and the day is here where we need to push forward an agenda of what we’re for.”