TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Ernesto

The other day, I met a very nice young man who is immigrating to the U.S.

Let’s just call him Ernesto. Because that’s his name.

I’ve run into him at least a dozen times on the Greenway this summer. We’ve struck up a couple of nice conversations.

He’s getting a little bored. He’s been waiting for his green card so he can go to work in this country. He’s been waiting a year. Oh, and he speaks English. In fact, he teaches it.

Ernesto smiles a lot. It’s infectious.

One day he was wearing a plain, black T-shirt. On the back in large white letters was printed the word LATINO, in the same size and style you’d expect to see the word POLICE written. I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve been laughing about it, off and on, ever since. I like people who can make me laugh.

This week in one of the ugliest exchanges I’ve ever seen come out of the White House briefing room, administration advisor Stephen Miller seemed to become seriously unglued when reporter Jim Acosta asked if the administration’s new immigration proposals were in keeping with the spirit of the Emma Lazarus sonnet. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breath free.”  That one.

Using reasoning I’ve been unable to unravel, Miller maintained the poem was “added later” to the base of the Statue of Liberty. I’ve watched the video clip of the briefing a half-dozen times now, and for the life of me I can’t understand what possible difference that would make.

For me, Miller is easily one of the top three most unpleasant people in the White House. If I never lay eyes on him again, that would be fine. On the other hand, I could see Ernesto and me becoming good friends.

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