It seems the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is just another bigot.
Kelly, who was once touted as being the sole voice of moderation in the chaotic Trump White House, has proved he is as hypocritical as they come. That’s because in a recent interview with NPR, Kelly explained why immigrants are not fit to cross the U.S. border: they don’t have “skills” and they don’t “speak English.”
“Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people,” he said. “They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. Some of them are not.”
That’s quite the opposite of what his boss says when referring to immigrants. According to President Donald Trump, most immigrants are rapists, terrorists or drug dealers — and only some are not.
However, that’s where their difference ends.
“But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society,” Kelly said. “They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from — fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t speak English. They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws.”
Yes, the laws are the laws and nobody is denying that. However, the chief of staff forgot to add one very crucial fact: his own ancestors were “unskilled” immigrants, as well.
Monica Pattangall, who is on Twitter as @Youkumbrook, made the discovery on Ancestory.com. She shared it with another Twitter user, Jennifer Mendelsohn, who added it in her project, Resistance Genealogy.
According to the data, seven of Kelly’s eight great-grandparents were immigrants. Three were Irish and four were Italian. What’s more, they were all Kelly’s definition of unskilled.
Deep dive tk, but here is the 1910 census showing Kelly's great-grandfather Giuseppe Pedalino and his second wife Concetta. (Kelly's great-grandma died in 1898.)— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 11, 2018
He was a wagon driver.
She was illiterate and could not speak English 10 years after arrival.#resistancegenealogy pic.twitter.com/N9AfuLNvb1
Here's John Kelly's maternal grandmother Teresa as a child in the 1900 census.— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 11, 2018
Her father, a day laborer named John DeMarco had been here for 18 years.
He had not become a citizen.
He could not read, write, or speak English.#resistancegenealogy pic.twitter.com/pmnHD4Yobq
The 1930 census shows those great-grandparents living with their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, one of whom was Kelly's mother.— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 11, 2018
John DeMarco had been here for 47 years and was not an American citizen ("AL"). Crescenza had been here for 37 years and spoke no English. pic.twitter.com/5Nyfsu48y0
The chief-of-staff’s great-grandfather, Giuseppe Pedalino was a wagon driver. His second wife Concetta could not read or write and took 10 years to learn the English language.
Another greta-grandfather, John Edward Kelly, was born in Maine but his parents were immigrants from Canada. John Edward Kelly worked as a blacksmith. His son, Jon Leo, went to work on the railroad and became a brakeman. Kelly’s father worked as a mailman in Brighton.
On his mother’s side, Kelly’s great-grandfather, John DeMarco, was a fruit seller, who didn’t speak English even after more than 10 years of living in the country. His wife Crescenza, lived in the U.S. for over 30 years without learning English.
So what does Kelly have to say to all this? That was then and this is now? Sorry, but that’s not enough.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Leah Millis