Tuesday night, after enduring what was an aggravating and painful State of the Union address, I tuned in to Jimmy Kimmel, hoping to lighten my mood with his Stormy Daniels interview.
But I was surprised to see Kimmel’s MAGA versus DACA feature, which truly beat out any CNN talking head analysis and put the spotlight squarely on the main issue surrounding the immigration debate—lies, alternative facts and the ignorance that continue to blind many in this country.
Kimmel had culled together a group of six folks, including one Latina and one Black woman, who all claimed to be ultra-staunch “conservatives” and Donald Trump supporters and voters.
On the opposite side of the couch, with the talk-show host, was a young DACA recipient who had been brought into the U.S. as a baby and was now herself a mother. This young woman was now living in fear and limbo of being deported when her DACA status runs out. Her fear was heightened because her fiancé, who serves in the National Guard, is being deployed overseas, leaving her more vulnerable and at risk of losing her status as the clock to March 5 runs down.
As she related her story and fear, tears rushed to my eyes. Even Kimmel himself seemed moved as he asked the group to respond. Without hesitation, one older white man responded, “She needs to go back. She is breaking the Constitution,” ignorant of course that it is the immigration law and not the Constitution that is the issue.
But the most shocking responses came from the Latina woman and the Black woman. Both insisted that the young woman should be sent back and then somehow get into some magical line on the other side to apply to re-enter the U.S. legally.
The discourse, coming on the heels of the blatant lies presented by Trump on the immigration laws during his SOTU, proved once again the ignorance of most “born Americans” about the U.S. immigration laws. Most of it is pushed by the alt-right, whose alternative facts would have you believe much of the Stephen Miller lies touted by Trump Tuesday night.
LIE 1: Immigrants who become U.S. citizens in this country can bring in “unlimited” relatives to live with them under the family sponsorship option of the law that is being viciously branded as “chain migration” by Trump and the Trumpeteers.
TRUTH: The fact is that a U.S. citizen can only sponsor a spouse, minor child or parent as an immediate relative and married sons and daughters or brothers and sisters as a third and fourth preference. There is no “unlimited” sponsorship of anyone.
LIE 2: Countries are sending us their worst people under the Diversity Visa Lottery.
TRUTH: The Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery is only open to countries with limited immigration to the U.S. —50,000 or less. So countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are all excluded. People enter online and must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as comparable to successful completion of a 12-year course in the U.S. or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. Winners are chosen by a computer and each winner has to go through an intense background check and processing to get into the U.S. and qualify for a green card. So, no countries have any opportunity to maliciously send us their worst or terrorists.