AG Jeff Sessions on immigration reform: "What good does it do to bring in somebody who's illiterate in their own country, has no skills, & is going to struggle in our country & not be successful? That is not what a good nation should do, and we need to get away from it." pic.twitter.com/JwOBmbAG0P— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 17, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to make a case for stricter vetting of immigrants on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” The fact is, as usual, Sessions does not have any idea what he is talking about.
During the debate on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Sessions said, “President Trump has said we need — we have immigration. We want immigration. But we want to vet these people. We want to know who they are and make sure they are going to be productive people. People who are to flourish in America, who are going to not be terrorists, not be criminals. And that's exactly correct for America."
“What good does it do to bring in somebody who's illiterate in their own country, has no skills, and is going to struggle in our country and not be successful? That is not what a good nation should do, and we need to get away from it,” he added.
It’s all baloney.
No matter how much it is stressed, it just doesn’t seem to penetrate the mind of the Trump administration that the current screening process is already extremely vigorous — in fact, refugees have to undergo a much harsher vetting that involves more than 20 comprehensive steps and may take 20 years. These steps include biometric data plus screening by the National Counterterrorism Center/intelligence community, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and sometimes, even the Citizenship and Immigration Services' Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.
As for the part about immigrants being “terrorists” and “criminals,” that’s not true either. A new report by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism revealed white supremacists are responsible for more murders than those committed by foreigners, including Islamic extremists.
In the past 10 years, right-wing extremists have killed 274 people — that amounts to 71 percent of the 387 murdered by extremists from 2008 to 2017.
So, unless Sessions has an idea how to curb the actions of these home-grown white extremists, the problem of terrorism is not going to go away anytime soon.
Calling immigrants “illiterate” is also incorrect.
Migrants, most notably from the African countries, are better educated than their American counterparts. Almost 60.9 percent of Nigerian immigrants, 63.9 percent of Egyptian immigrants and 57.3 percent of South African immigrants have bachelor’s degrees, compared to only 33 percent of Americans, according to the New American Economy.
African immigrants are more than twice as likely as Americans to work in health care and have higher-than-average rates for labor force participation. They also commit fewer crimes than people born in the United States.
Monstrous and ahistorical. Such immigrants have been making America great for centuries because they had the freedom to work hard and create a better life for their children here. https://t.co/dMKOY9IbLD— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) January 18, 2018
Mostly illiterate workers from poorer countries built modern America. Built the roads, the bridges, the railways, the dams - gave their blood, sweat and tears to build a better future for their children and their new country.— Giovanni Torre (@GiovanniTorre) January 18, 2018
What good? An astonishing question. Just astonishing.
First-generation Americans are among the hardest-working, most disciplined and successful people I know. More so than many Americans, they appreciate the opportunity to live here, and maximize it. By ignorance, prejudice, or both, @USAGSessions gets it exactly wrong. Again.— Austin Murphy (@ausmurph88) January 18, 2018
My in laws are immigrants from Mexico. Little education and took very underpaid jobs. several of them. had 3 boys... All served in the US Navy. My husband graduated Northwestern in biomedical engineering. What Sessions said is ignorant and divisive.— Andrea (@ajfos711) January 18, 2018
But considering how racist and xenophobic most of the Trump administration is, it’s not surprising that Sessions doesn’t know these facts — or maybe just doesn’t care.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Joshua Roberts