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Tucker Carlson keeps digging, issues bizarre defense of anti-immigrant comments

The Fox News host cited his concerns about the environment to explain why he claimed that immigrants make America "dirtier."

Tucker Carlson on December 17, 2018. (Screengrab/Fox News)
Tucker Carlson on December 17, 2018. (Screengrab/Fox News)

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.

Minted and NerdWallet became the latest companies to confirm on Monday evening they would no longer advertise during Tucker Carlson Tonight.

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.”

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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.

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Studies have found that immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start businesses — which create jobs — than non-immigrants, and boost the earnings of U.S. workers by about 1 percent.

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.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently offered President Donald Trump $1.6 billion to reinforce existing border security.

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.

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Plus, the notion that immigrants “with the lowest skills” don’t contribute to the economy has no basis in reality.

The need for more migrant workers has been cited in numerous states, including at Trump’s private golf club in Florida.

Migrants make up the overwhelming majority of America’s agricultural workforce despite being subjected to harsh working conditions, wage theft, and some of the lowest salaries among U.S. workers.

Immigrants will also be needed to help fill the expected 58.6 million job openings that will be created by Baby Boomers in the coming decades.

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.