New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who calls himself a conservative, argued it would be better to deport lazy Americans than illegal immigrants in a tongue-in-cheek op-ed published in Saturday’s paper.
“The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system,” Stephens wrote in the piece.
He argued that this description applies to many American citizens whose families have been in the country for generations.
He then goes on to break down how American natives are more likely to be locked up, less educated, less religious, less entrepreneurial, more likely to have children out of wedlock, count more teen delinquents among their ranks and have fewer children than their immigrant — both legal and illegal — peers.
“Bottom line: So-called real Americans are screwing up America,” Stephens concludes. “Maybe they should leave, so that we can replace them with new and better ones: newcomers who are more appreciative of what the United States has to offer, more ambitious for themselves and their children, and more willing to sacrifice for the future.”
He then admits that his argument is made in jest after implying the “so-called real Americans” he’s talking about were the ones who voted for Donald Trump.
“O.K., so I’m jesting about deporting ‘real Americans’ en masse. (Who would take them in, anyway?) But then the threat of mass deportations has been no joke with this administration,” the outspokenly anti-Trump columnist clarifies.
While the article implies it’s “real American” Trump voters who are exhibiting these negative traits of high crime, little education and a greater rate of teen delinquency, there’s a likely unintended racial message behind this argument. African-Americans, per capita, are incarcerated more (as shown by the study Stephens link to his own article), more prone to drop out of high school, have more births out of wedlock, and are less likely to start their own businesses than the rest of the population.
However, it doesn’t seem that Stephens intended for his message to be taken that legal and illegal immigrants are superior to African-Americans.
After stating his premise was facetious, Stephens attacks President Trump’s immigration policies as inhumane and pushes people away who love America.
He then claims that immigrants have a greater right to the country than the native-born and are the only ones who can make America great again.
“Because I’m the child of immigrants and grew up abroad, I have always thought of the United States as a country that belongs first to its newcomers — the people who strain hardest to become a part of it because they realize that it’s precious; and who do the most to remake it so that our ideas, and our appeal, may stay fresh,” Stephens writes.
“That used to be a cliché, but in the Age of Trump it needs to be explained all over again. We’re a country of immigrants — by and for them, too. Americans who don’t get it should get out,” he concludes.