John Oliver rips apart Donald Trump's 'stand in line' immigration rhetoric
'If you are going to say 'Get in line' to people, you should at least make sure they actually have a line to stand in," says Oliver
John Oliver has ripped apart Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric in a scathing new video, detailing the complexities of the immigration process in order to paint a more accurate picture of how people acquire the right to live and work in the United States.
The host tackled the topic on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
“Immigration is the subject that Trump campaigned on the hardest, and as president, his tone hasn’t exactly softened,” he said before playing a clip of Mr Trump claiming at a Las Vegas rally that “our country is full”.
“It is obviously not that simple,” Oliver said before outlining the four ways people can currently emigrate to the US: via family, employment, “good luck” (Oliver’s term for the green card lottery) and “bad luck” (which was his way of referring to people seeking refugee status).
Oliver, an Englishman who now holds a green card, relied on his own experiences to illustrate how taxing it can be to acquire and maintain legal status in the US.
As a green card holder, Oliver is allowed to live and work in the US but he’s not a citizen.
This means he’s not awarded certain prerogatives that are reserved to people who have a US passport, such as the right to vote.
“When I finally got my green card, years ago, it was sent to The Daily Show [where Oliver used to work] and they surprised me with it at work, presenting it to me with a slice of apple pie and a Budweiser as a joke,” he said.
“The thing is, I was so relieved I nearly burst into tears. And that is when I realised I had been worried about my immigration status every single day.”
Throughout his segment, Oliver highlighted the oversimplifications and outright falsehoods that Mr Trump has relied on to criticise immigration – including the president’s false claims that various countries sign up “people that they don’t want” for the lottery in an effort to get rid of them.
“If you are going to say ‘Get in line’ to people, you should at least make sure they actually have a line to stand in,” he said.
Last week, the US Supreme Court allowed the enforcement of a new rule curtailing asylum applications at the US-Mexico border.
The new rule aims to deny asylum to people who travel through another country on their way to the US and don’t seek protection there.
It makes Central Americans, who overwhelmingly seek refuge from violence and poverty in the US, largely ineligible for asylum.