CNN's Alisyn Camerota: Poor Immigrants Can Become the Best and the Brightest 'Through Our Education System'

By Susan Jones | January 12, 2018 | 8:55 AM EST

CNN's Alisyn Camerota, host of CNN's "New Day," interviews Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) on Jan. 12, 2018. (Photo: Screen grab/CNN)

( - Alysin Camerota, host of CNN's "New Day," on Friday said it was "selfish" for the United States to accept only the best and the brightest immigrants, as President Trump has advocated.

"That's not what we say in America," Camerota told Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), whom she was interviewing. She quoted the "huddled masses" inscription on the Statue of Liberty, and Duffy agreed that the U.S. can "take some of those, but is that all we take?" he asked.

"Why can't I say, in America, I want the smartest people, I want the brightest people who will contribute the most?" Duffy asked.

Camerota noted that Duffy has eight children and she told him she has 12-year-old twins:

"What are you going to tell your 12-year-old about why the president doesn't want people from Africa?" she asked the congressman.

"I don't think he doesn't want people from Africa, but he wants the best and brightest from Africa," Duffy responded.

"He didn't say that," Camerota interjected.

"But guess what," she continued. "Since when have we become so selfish that we only will take the best and the brightest? Guess what,there are poverty-stricken countries. And doesn't America open its arms to these folks, because guess what, they then can become the best and the brightest when they're here -- through our education system."

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