Conservative columnist George Will surprised “Fox New Sunday’s” Chris Wallace when he claimed the United States should “welcome” the flood of illegal immigrant children along our southern border — adding that concerns about America’s ability to absorb Central America’s problems are “preposterous.”
Will spoke on a panel along with Fox News contributors Kirsten Powers, Juan Williams and Brit Hume about the ongoing border crisis. Powers had just finished slamming the Republican Party for not wanting to work on any kind of comprehensive immigration issue beyond deporting the tens of thousands of Central American children coming into the country illegally.
“How do you respond to Kirsten and her talking about Republicans who don’t want to deal with immigration except deporting children,” Wallace asked, “and is there a right way to deal with this problem?”
“Well, I think Kirsten’s largely right,” Will responded. “I think we ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America. You’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans. We have 3,141 counties in this country. That’d be 20 per county.”
“The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous,” the conservative columnist went on, mocking those concerned about putting further strain on the United States’ limited resources.
Wallace warned Will over a potential backlash from his comments. “You’ve gotta know — I mean, I can just sort of feel them clicking off — that we’re gonna get tons of email of people saying ‘this guy doesn’t understand the border, why should we be dealing with Central America’s problem, we can’t important the problem, they’ve gotta deal with it there, and our border’s got to mean something,’” the Fox News host explained.
“We can handle this problem, is what I’m saying,” the columnist replied. “We’ve handled what Emma Lazarus called ‘the wretched refuse of your teeming shores’ a long time ago, and a lot more people than this.”
Lazarus was, of course, writing about immigrants who came to the country legally through Ellis Island, New York.