Fox News host Tucker Carlson and contributor Kirsten Powers bitterly clashed over the United States’ supposed “moral obligation” to illegal immigrant refugees around the world, with Powers invoking Christian principles and Carlson countering that “this is not a theocracy” and no one has “a moral right to American tax dollars and physical asylum in the United States.”
Carlson — who is also editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller — and Powers appeared on Fox’s “Outnumbered” on Thursday to discuss growing opposition to President Obama’s handling of illegal immigration. As tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children cross the border claiming refugee status, opposition to allowing hordes of asylum-seekers into the country at all has also grown more pronounced.
“Fifty-three percent of Americans believe that Americans do not have a moral obligation to offer asylum to people who come to the U.S. to escape violence or persecution in their home country,” Powers lamented. “That’s un-American.”
Carlson immediately pushed back. “So you’re saying that the United States has an obligation — anyone who’s suffering around the world has a right to come here and be supported by you and me?” he asked.
“Yes!” Powers replied. “Hey, ever been to the Statue of Liberty?”
“So you’re saying — in Congo for example, where there’s been a war for 20 years — every Congolese has a moral right to come here and we have a moral obligation to pay for it?” Carlson continued.
Powers invoked several other American tropes, including the image of a “shining city on the hill.” But Carlson pressed on.
“So I have a moral obligation to share my earnings and my country with people I’ve never met because they are suffering?” he asked.
“Yes, you absolutely do,” Powers said forcefully. “Are you a Christian?”
“I am absolutely a Christian,” Carlson responded.
“Ok, have you read the Bible?” she continued. “Because this —”
“This is not a theocracy!” Carlson went on. “The country is not run according to Christian precepts here!”
“What you’re saying is the U.S. government has a responsibility,” he explained. “Now you may have a Christian obligation. You can give charity money. That’s a massive difference.”
Carlson and Powers continued to fight over whether “every person” suffering worldwide should be welcomed by the United States.
“Does any other country have this obligation, or just ours?” Carlson asked.
“Other countries, of course they can!” Powers said. “But we’re talking about our country! Are you saying that people who have been fleeing persecution throughout history have not come to the United States?”
“No, of course they have,” Carlson said. “But they don’t have a moral right to American tax dollars and physical asylum in the United States. They just don’t.”