Tomi Lahren knew the first question she got from Jesse Watters Saturday night had a Minnesota connection.
What she probably didn't realize was the second question did, too. That one was less obvious, but, to those who don't care for Britney Tip-of-the-Spears' Fox News commentary, infinitely more delicious.
Question one from Watters involved DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's preference in T-shirts. First, Watters played the clip of President Donald Trump bringing up "Congressman Keith Ellison, you know him?" -- Trump's crowd booed, obediently -- and the pro-immigration shirt he wore to the Minneapolis MayDay Parade.
Ellison's shirt read "Yo no creo en fronteras," Spanish for "I don't believe in borders." The line is a lyric from a song by a California band called Las Cafeteras, whose ouevre has yet to catch on with Trump rally attendees in Elkhart, Indiana.
Watters then mentioned Chelsea Manning, the transgender Wikileaks source who served time in prison, was given clemency by President Barack Obama, and wants to eliminate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "altogether." (Clear your cards; after that sentence, we have a Right-wing Freakout Bingo.)
"I like Democrats that are honest, these Keith Ellison people, that don't believe in borders," says Watters, smiling like the cat that ate the canary... and several of his newborn kitten siblings.
Lahren says Ellison and "clearly insane" Manning would "make a great ticket for 2020, one that I would really like to see: Ellison and Manning for president and vice president in 2020."
"That's the ticket," says Watters, who may actually be a Jon Lovitz character.
Then they contemplated a statement by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who says the "vast majority" of undocumented immigrants entering the country are "not criminals," but are "also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States."
They are "overwhelmingly rural people," Kelly continued, and have, at best, "fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade educations." Trump, Watters says, wants a "merit-based" immigration system.
"Well, Jesse, what's wrong with that?" asks Lahren, saying we should only let "the best people" into this great country, and that, at present, we "care more about feelings and kinship over actually improving the United States of America."
Watters then lists off the Americans he really "feels sorry for" -- notably, his list of those worthy of sympathy includes "lowering property values, in some cases" -- and wants people to wait in "the line" for their turn.
Lahren says becoming an American "is a privilege, not a right." She continues: "You don't just get to come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language, and come into our country because someone says that makes them feel nice."
Historians would tell you we've let many, many uneducated immigrants with "low skills" and speaking little to no English into this country, without which we would have millions fewer Americans. Including Tomi Lahren.
Jennifer Mendelsohn, the journalist and researcher behind Resistance Geneaology, quickly dug up and published records of Tomi's ancestral relatives, including a Minnesota-born great-grandfather's baptism. Or "Dobte," as it reads on the paperwork; the ceremony's occasion was recorded in Norwegian.
According to Mendelsohn's finds, some members of Lahren's family living in South Dakota did not speak English as a first language even decades after they'd moved here.
Except the 1930 census says Tomi's 3x great-grandmother had been here for 41 years and still spoke German.— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 13, 2018
Her 2nd great-grandmother had been here for 10 yrs. Spoke no English.
Her great-grandfather's 1895 baptism from MN? Recorded in Norwegian.#resistancegenealogy #receipts pic.twitter.com/rIySFu6fvL
But they were highly skilled! It says so right there, under the line for "Occupation": Physicist.
No, wait, it says "Farmer." Huh.
That Tomi Lahren's family got here speaking no English, and got by putting their hands in the dirt, is nothing to be ashamed of. That she doesn't let this fact inform her views on immigration is more troubling.
That she doesn't know how many American families got here in exactly the same condition means maybe she shouldn't go ranting on Fox News until she gets the chance to read a book.
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