Fox News Pundit Tomi Lahren Slammed After Doubling Down on 'Xenophobic' Comments About Immigrants: 'Stop Pretending to Be Smart'

Lahren's comments were delivered in defense of President Donald Trump's Trump's embattled chief of staff John Kelly

Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren is back in the headlines for offering up fresh historically inaccurate and inflammatory political commentary. This time, her vitriol was aimed directly at immigrants.

"These people need to understand that it's a privilege to be an American — and that's a privilege that you work toward. It's not a right," Lahren said Saturday during a segment on Jesse Waters' "Watters’ World". "You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language — and come into our country, because someone says it makes them feel nice. That’s not what this country is based on."

.@TomiLahren: "You don't just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice. That's not what this country is based on." @WattersWorld pic.twitter.com/Dux0cABHar

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— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2018

"The fact that we care more about feelings and kinship over actually improving the United States of America is the problem," she continued.

Lahren's comments were delivered in defense of President Donald Trump's Trump's embattled chief of staff John Kelly, who told NPR last week that undocumented immigrants were "not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society."

"They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm," the retired general continued. "They don’t speak English. Obviously, that’s a big thing . . . They don’t integrate well. They don’t have skills."

As The Wrap pointed out, a poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty reads: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." But Lahren is famous for her far-right hot takes – and not for checking her facts. Not surprisingly, Twitter came through with a fact check.

Walter Shaub, who formerly served as the director of the Office of Government Ethics,  said he would trade Lahren, whom he referred to as "Xenophobic Rage Barbie," for a hard working immigrant any day of the week. "Contributing less than nothing to this country, she exists only to make lazy white supremacists 'with low skills, low education, [barely] understanding the language' feel nice," he tweeted.

I’d trade Xenophobic Rage Barbie for a hard working immigrant any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Contributing less than nothing to this country, she exists only to make lazy white supremacists “with low skills, low education, [barely] understanding the language” feel nice.

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 13, 2018

Many others encouraged Lahren to take a history lesson. "Can someone bring Tomi Lahren to Ellis Island?" tweeted Ian Bremmer, a global research professor at New York University.

I’d trade Xenophobic Rage Barbie for a hard working immigrant any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Contributing less than nothing to this country, she exists only to make lazy white supremacists “with low skills, low education, [barely] understanding the language” feel nice.

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 13, 2018

There isn’t a better example of low skills, low education and not understanding the language than this comment by @TomiLahren. https://t.co/BQUkBJOTYb

— David Goodman (@DavidAGoodman) May 14, 2018

In our field, there was an uneducated guy named Joe from Hungary, who spent his extra hours in his first year here in the St. Louis library, learning a new language. His legacy? The prizes for excellence and understanding that bear his last name: Pulitzer.

— David Beard (@dabeard) May 14, 2018

But your ancestors did @TomiLahren. And John Kelly’s. https://t.co/WEhWV4dmpD

— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) May 14, 2018

But Lahren only doubled down Monday, alleging on Twitter that 62 percent "of households headed by illegal immigrants are receiving some type of federal assistance." She added, "Does that hurt your feelings? Too bad."

62% of households headed by illegal immigrants are receiving some type of federal assistance. That’s more than 2x the percentage for households headed by native-born Americans. Does that hurt your feelings? Too bad. https://t.co/biFN6vgori

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 14, 2018

On "The View" Monday, the show's cohosts responded to Lahren's remarks. "When did the perception of immigrants go from people trying to find their American dream to isolated freeloaders?" co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked. "Because, true, people have always come from other countries . . . Many of them are well-educated and well-versed in many things, but not necessarily in English. And, when they got here, they became peddlers or they became people that opened small stores."

Co-host Joy Behar interrupted. "She talks about low skills — what exactly are her skills?" she asked to thunderous applause. "Does anybody know?"

Co-host Sunny Hostin brought up research a genealogist had conducted into Lahren's family background, who found generations of kin who spoke no English after decades of living in the U.S.

"She doesn’t even know her own history. She certainly doesn’t know this country’s history," Hostin added. "What happened to, 'Give me your tired, and your poor, and your weak and we’ll welcome you with open arms?'"

Except the 1930 census says Tomi's 3x great-grandmother had been here for 41 years and still spoke German.

Her 2nd great-grandmother had been here for 10 yrs. Spoke no English.

Her great-grandfather's 1895 baptism from MN? Recorded in Norwegian.#resistancegenealogy #receipts pic.twitter.com/rIySFu6fvL

— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 13, 2018

As of Monday afternoon, Lahren remained unmoved by the criticism. "The Left can't fathom the idea of merit based immigration," she proclaimed on Twitter. "Get a clue. It's not radical to place Americans first in our own country!"

The Left can’t fathom the idea of merit based immigration. Get a clue. It’s not radical to place Americans first in our own country! https://t.co/PfBejPB0j2

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 14, 2018

 

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Rachel Leah reports for Salon.