In cities around the country, the fall-out from May Day protests is still being felt. One such city is Portland, OR where liberal marchers tore apart the city and started a riot. The focus of the May Day protest was the role of illegal immigrants in the United States labor force. In order to explore both the violence of the march and the increased tensions concerning illegal immigrants, Tucker Carlson invited illegal immigrant and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to his show. Over the course of the nine-minute interview, Vargas made some extremely brazen claims about his rights within the United States.
Vargas makes no secret about him being in the United States illegally. This well-known author explained that he has lived openly as an illegal for the last 6 years. His lack of legal status within the United States has never been in question. He does claim that him being illegal does not change the fact that he is an “American.” He is merely an American without papers.
Throughout the interview, Vargas keeps coming back to a very creative set of “facts” he has posted on with the website. Using the hashtag #factsmatter, Vargas has created a parallel universe where he makes creative use of things he calls “facts.”
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) May 2, 2017
Vargas also attempted to put a creative spin on many of the questions asked during the interview. Carlson started off by asking for an explanation as to why the many liberal protests often end in violence. Even though Vargas holds some very well known and liberal ideas about needed changes for immigration, all of the sudden he claims to not be a part of the left or right. He also claimed that we can not assume everyone protesting is from the left. Somehow through the anti-Trump slogans, Vargas argues we simply do not know how many of the protesters are liberal or conservative.
Vargas went as far as stating that he knows many conservatives and Republicans who share his unique views on illegal immigration rights and reform. As a direct reply, Carlson reminds him that the majority of the violence and damage being done has occurred during protests directly targeted against the conservative viewpoint and policies of the Trump administration.
Vargas, a minute into the interview, accuses Carlson of creating the divide between liberals and conservatives and states that this is not reality. According to Vargas, his ideas are supported by both liberals and conservatives alike.
The facts seem to get more and more outlandish as the interview goes on. According to Vargas, those who are in the country illegally commit far fewer crimes than American citizens. He ignores that each and every person here without authorization is breaking the law. These crimes are not included in the statistics that show illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes.
Each time an illegal immigrant uses a fake document or a stolen Social Security number to work, he or she is committing a crime. Falsifying an I-9 form in order to work in the United States is also a crime. Stealing the Social Security number of an American adult or child in order to forge documents is a crime.
Vargas puts a creative spin on crime data as he explains that:
“There are numerous reasons why immigrant criminality is lower than native criminality. One explanation is that immigrants who commit crimes can be deported and thus are punished more for criminal behavior, making them less likely to break the law.
Another explanation is that immigrants self-select for those willing to work rather than those willing to commit crimes. According to this “healthy immigrant thesis,” motivated and ambitious foreigners are more likely to immigrate and those folks are less likely to be criminals. This could explain why immigrants are less likely to engage in “anti-social” behaviors than natives despite having lower incomes. It’s also possible that more effective interior immigration enforcement is catching and deporting unlawful immigrants who are more likely to be criminals before they have a chance to be incarcerated.”
It is unclear on the Vargas website when things, like breaking laws to cross the border illegally and stealing the identity of Americans to work, became socially acceptable behavior. Once all the daily crimes committed by illegal workers are factored in, Vargas pointing to illegal immigrants being more law abiding makes little sense. Vargas also says illegal immigrants contribute to Social Security in the United States.
That financial impact is echoed on his website in the following statement:
“An estimated 7 million people are currently working in the US illegally. Of those, an estimated 3.1 million are using fake or expired social security numbers, and also paying automatic payroll taxes. They pay an estimated annual net contribution of $12 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. The SSA estimates that unauthorized workers have paid $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.”
Vargas ignores the fact that by his own estimate, 3.1 million illegals commit identity theft by using someone else’s Social Security number. For workers using the information of an American in order to work, we may never truly know how many other crimes they are committing. If one has assumed the identity of an American, handing over a fraudulent driver’s license hides their crimes.
Vargas is also quick to attempt to explain away his own illegal status as being out of his control. According to a recent tweet: