Instead of apologizing for his recent remarks claiming immigrants make America “dirtier” — which have led six advertisers to drop his show — Tucker Carlson doubled down on his rhetoric on Monday night.
The Fox News host bizarrely claimed that the “relatively tiny number of people” who benefit from immigration policies are trying to silence him.
During his show on Monday, the Carlson said that “nobody on the left” could dispute his claims about immigrants, which is why he believes his critics are instead focused on his usage of the word “dirtier.”
Carlson also claimed “the American left” has advocated for “unregulated mass immigration,” and insisted he was being attacked for pointing out that “it could be preferable to import more engineers and fewer people with the lowest skills.”
The Fox News host expressed concern about the environment, lamenting that “unregulated mass immigration has badly hurt this country’s natural landscape.”
Carlson cited a study from 2002, which he claimed “was back when people could do science without getting fired for it,” to close out Monday’s remarks.
In reality, immigration does not only benefit a “relatively tiny number of people.”
60 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and roughly 63 million currently collect Social Security benefits. Immigrants — including the undocumented — help fund those programs even though many can’t collect the benefits.
Undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.7 billion in state and local taxes each year.
Also, prominent leaders of “the American left” have not called for “unregulated mass regulation.”
Over a third of the roughly 3,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico already contains fencing or similar barriers.
Apprehensions by border control, which are used to assess overall attempted crossings, are at a historic low and have been in steady decline since 2000.
Plus, the notion that immigrants “with the lowest skills” don’t contribute to the economy has no basis in reality.
Carlson — a favorite of white supremacists — has used his Fox News platform to claim that immigration advocates want to “change your country forever,” advocate for excluding Latinx people from the U.S. to preserve the country’s white identity, complain about how difficult it is to be a white man, promote a social media site frequented by white nationalists, and defend a white nationalist Pizzagate conspiracy theorist.
In a statement emailed to ThinkProgress, a Fox News spokesperson stood by Carlson, citing the advertisers who have not abandoned his show: “It is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
An all-time high of 75 percent of Americans, including 65 percent of conservatives, backed immigration in a June Gallup poll. The same Gallup poll also found record-low support for restricting immigration rates.
This piece has been updated to include a statement from Fox News.