The renewed Republican complaining over immigration reform, Bill Maher said on Real Time on Friday, should dispel one of the country’s popular notions about itself.
“Can we put one myth to rest? That America is a country that’s welcoming to immigrants,” Maher told his panelists. “When has America ever, ever been welcoming to any immigrants? Certainly not the Irish.”
“The last time Heidi Klum visited,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews joked, leading to an awkward silence.
“What, you mean ’cause she’s hot?” Maher asked after seemingly laughing nervously.
“Yes,” Matthews confirmed, laughing. “If there were 10 million Heidi Klums coming up from south of the border, no problem.”
Maher noted that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) compared President Barack Obama to the rogue Roman senator Catiline, while Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said Obama was “declaring war on the American people” following his announcement of an executive order preventing the deportations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who met certain residency conditions.
“Good thing we don’t have any nuts in this country who would take that literally,” Maher said mockingly.
TV One host Roland S. Martin had a more direct criticism of both Cruz and Smith.
“You two idiots are from Texas — my home state,” Martin said. “You would think that you would be the last folks — especially when, because of the Latino population, Texas got five new congressional seats after the last census. So, they are really making a mistake.”
Canadian MP Chrystia Freeland said that, despite the often harsh climate toward immigrants, diversity has provided the U.S. with a competitive advantage that Europe has not been able to match.
“Europe can’t do it, and that’s why Europe is fading,” she argued. “I think this is a crucial, decisive moment for America.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online, below.