.@TomiLahren: “You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice. That’s not what this country is based on.” @WattersWorld pic.twitter.com/Dux0cABHar
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2018
Over the weekend, Fox News’ Tomi Lahren dove into another mindless anti-immigration screed.
“You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice,” she said. “That’s not what this country is based on.”
That’s the sort of racist, xenophobic rhetoric Lahren and others have built their careers on, painting immigration as an evil and a burden, rather than one of the basic tenets of the American ethos.
A go-to response in these kinds of instances is to point out the hypocrisy of such an inflexible anti-immigration stance seeing as this is a country of immigrants. Unless you’re Native American, your ancestors came from somewhere else.
But in Lahren’s case, the “everyone’s an immigrant” argument is especially true. And Genealogy Twitter is handing out the receipts.
Except the 1930 census says Tomi’s 3x great-grandmother had been here for 41 years and still spoke German.
Her 2nd great-grandmother had been here for 10 yrs. Spoke no English.
— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 13, 2018
Jennifer Mendelsohn launched #ResistanceGenealogy as a way to fight racist nativist rhetoric with basic history and facts. She’s researched the lineages of multiple anti-immigration Republican lawmakers and staffers, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump’s fervently xenophobic advisor Stephen Miller.
So Dan. Let’s say Victor Scavino arrives from Canelli, Italy in 1904, then brother Hector in 1905, brother Gildo in 1912, sister Esther in 1913, & sister Clotilde and their father Giuseppe in 1916, and they live together in NY. Do you think that would count as chain migration? https://t.co/m25mrJHjcT
— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) January 11, 2018
Tomi Lahren’s ancestors, like those of so many others who now vehemently oppose immigration, were not just immigrants, but “kinds” of immigrants these right wing xenophobes call out as being exceptionally damaging, like those who commit crimes.
— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) September 4, 2017
That was in response to Lahren’s beliefs that immigrants are criminals. (Mendelsohn followed up, saying Lahren’s ancestor was acquitted by a trial jury, “but come on.”)
Similarly, these xenophobes demonize those who have a lack of English, that practice “chain migration,” and have a reliance on public services.
In 1911, a Congressional commission reported that nationwide, roughly 38% of charity recipients were immigrants; in 15 of 43 cities they looked at, it was more than half.
But never the ancestors of anyone on Twitter. Funny how that works.
Also? Through. pic.twitter.com/IsrHoko5MK
— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) February 6, 2018
The Tomi Lahrens of the world love to rant about how being American is a privilege you have to work for (despite doing nothing to earn that privilege themselves), insisting only the most educated and skilled people should be allowed to enter the country (despite Lahren and those like her possessing no discernable skills), and demanding harsh reforms to our already stringent immigration policy—reforms which would have kept their ancestors from becoming citizens.
(via Jennifer Mendelsohn on Twitter, image: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)
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