Donald Trump isn't alone—conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter is also speaking out against immigration, although she appeared to reach an impasse while arguing her case with PBS host Tavis Smiley.
After making controversial comments about Mexican immigrants when he announced his presidential campaign earlier this year, Trump vowed that if elected, he would install stricter limits on legal immigration and overturn a law that grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. Coulter, a conservative commentator and New York Times best-selling author, is promoting her new book titled Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole. So you can imagine her stance.
In her book and in an interview on Smiley's show this week, Coulter repeated a known conservative argument that claims immigrants take low-level jobs away from non-immigrants, which Smiley called "absurd." She talked about how government resources are being spent on immigrants, who she says don't deserve it, and cited the hardships of the black community. Smiley, who is black, wasn't impressed.
"Your argument suggests that if these other persons weren't here, that somehow we would be fairer and better by those who are already here," replied Smiley. "The evidence doesn't support that."
"I wish all of the resources that have been going to immigration had been going to the group we actually owe in this country," Coulter said. "The reason Americans are sensitive to race, the reason we have civil rights laws, the reason we have a 14th amendment is because of the black experience in America, it is because of slavery, it is because of Jim Crow and the idea that someone who arrived yesterday can just piggy-back onto that and claim the same rights...we're sensitive to this for one reason. But meanwhile, you know what, affirmative action, it goes to immigrants. Why is that? We don't owe you anything!"
"I think a lot more effort would be spent on the black community and we'd be a lot farther along because we would only have this one thing to deal with," she added.
Smiley said the "problem of disrespecting black fellow citizens already existed" "long before we had a basic immigration problem" and cited how black Americans " are still getting shot in the streets by white cops all the time."
"And by Mexicans," Coulter added, citing Mexican and black gang violence in parts of Los Angeles.
"The black and brown issue is real, no doubt about that," Smiley said. "But when you consider...how closely black and brown live in certain parts of this city and in this state and for that matter, New York City, those incidents pale in comparison again the peace that exists every day among neighbors who live in those tight environments."