NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten on Saturday shut down a caller asking for his opinion about vetting Puerto Rican migrants, noting “we don’t vet people that move … from one part of America to another.”
Noting his family “migrated from Norway” and “really [takes] pride in the migration and the family history,” the caller inquired:
“I would like to ask the guest what his opinion of the migration that is coming from Puerto Rico right now, due to their financial chaos. A thousand Puerto Ricans a week, not considered immigrants but coming to the United States as U.S. citizens with no vetting. And that just seems like something that’s not being discussed.”
“Well the reason it’s not being discussed, and you alluded to it in your question, is cause they’re not immigrants.” Gjelten said. “Puerto Rico is not a state, but Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.”
Gjelten noted similar questions were raised during during the Great Depression when migrants fled the southern Dust Bowl in record numbers seeking economic refuge in California, or when African-Americans headed to major cities “where there were more employment opportunities.”
“We’re talking here not about immigration, we’re talking about migration from one part of the country to another part of the country because there are different economic opportunities,” Gjelten said.
“Those people have every right to move to some other state or other part of the country where there are more jobs,” Gjelten continued. “You talk about vetting. We don’t vet people that move from one state to another, from one part of America to another. That’s their rights as Americans to move. I don’t see how we can really institute some kind of special policy for people from Puerto Rico who want to move to some part of the United States to find work.”
Watch the video below from December 24, via CSPAN:
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) December 26, 2016
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