Conservative author Ann Coulter battled Bill Maher and his Real Time panel on Friday as she tried to defend her latest book, which claims that the US contains 30 million undocumented immigrants.
“What about your imaginary friend Jesus Christ?” Maher asked. “Would he be OK with this attitude?”
“Yes, of course,” she said. “You don’t need to take homeless people to bed to prove you’re a Christian. This is our home.”
“Seems like he would like that,” Maher replied.
While Maher pointed out that her figure runs counter to government data putting the number of undocumented immigrants in the country at around 12 million, Coulter argued that it was more valid than the federal Census because it was based in part on financial data, along with a “very low” estimate on her part about what she described as an immigration surge.
“The point and issue is, should America’s immigration policy be used to benefit the people already here, or should it be benefitting Pakistani push-cart operators — illiterate in their own language, never mind ours — who come here, go on welfare, commit terrorism, engage in crimes?” she argued.
Coulter did not mention that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for either welfare or “food stamps” programs.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) told Coulter she should start worrying about the 50 million documented Latinos already living in the country.
“Worry about that 50 million who care, and who care deeply, because many of the people who you refer to as murderers, and rapists, and criminals and people that are on welfare are their aunts, their uncles, their classmates, they work with them,” Gutierrez said. “These are people they care about. So, what I think that Ann Coulter is actually doing wrong, along with Donald Trump, is revving up a Latino registration machine.”
What Coulter and Trump are doing, he explained, was encouraging young voters of color and LGBT voters to line up against conservatives.
“You’re never gonna take the White House with this kind of politics ever again,” he told her.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid also took exception to Coulter’s “negative characterization,” pointing out that both of her parents emigrated to the US from different parts of the world.
“I’m a first-generation American, and I’m fully American, despite the fact that both my parents were born outside the US,” she told Coulter.
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.