U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr jeff sessions finger...
U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Fox’s Tucker Carlson got to talking about the Trump administration’s initiative on “ethnic cleansing” (my words, not theirs) Tuesday night and they agreed that “good nations” (Session words) don’t accept immigrants who are “illiterate.” Shorter: Sessions and Tucker talk immigration, what could go wrong? TPM writes:

“What good does it do to bring in somebody who is 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,” Sessions said, speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Sessions criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for reportedly reciting during a meeting Emma Lazarus’ poem that’s historically affiliated with American immigration and the Statue of Liberty.

“Not really a case you would expect a Republican to be making,” Carlson said, referencing Graham’s use of the poem. “Why aren’t there more articulate Republican members of Congress making the case that you just made?”

“Well, I wish there were, actually,” Session said, before claiming the U.S. should be more like Canada in its immigration policies. “We should evaluate them and make sure they are going to be lawful. They are not threats to us. They have the education and skills level to prosper in America. That’s good for them and good for America.”

First of all, there may simply be a shortage of “articulate” Republican members of Congress capable of making any fact-based arguments.

Second, I’m no expert on Canadian immigration policies, but I’m pretty sure Sessions and Carlson aren’t either because humanitarian considerations are clearly something our neighbor to the north takes into consideration where immigration is concerned. Canada’s Syrian refugee initiative over the last couple years, for instance, has put the U.S. to shame—thus, this headline last fall: After Syria initiative, UN looks to Canada as a refugee haven. Canada admitted nearly 47,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 to the U.S.’s some 12,500 refugee resettlements. 

Third, the immigrants from “shithole” countries in Africa that Donald Trump wants to exclude from the visa lottery program (otherwise known as the “diversity” program) are more educated than Americans are on average.

The L.A. Times writes:

Applicants to the [visa lottery] program must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education or have at least two years of recent experience in any number of occupations, including accountant, computer support specialist, orthodontist and dancer.

As a result, the influx includes many immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who are highly skilled professionals.

Batalova’s research found that of the 1.4 million who are 25 and older, 41% have a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30% of all immigrants and 32% of the U.S.-born population. Of the 19,000 U.S. immigrants from Norway — a country Trump reportedly told lawmakers is a good source of immigrants — 38% have college educations.

Maybe Sessions and the Trump administration should spend less time promoting racist immigration policies and more time worrying about the education and literacy rates of our own citizens.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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