Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick joined the Outnumbered crew for a round of legal immigrant bashing today, after the Trump administration announced new rules intended to strip away green cards from immigrants who hold legal work permits.
After watching a clip of Trump claiming he's "tired of seeing our taxpayers paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare," and then watching Kamala Harris' response to that comment, Melissa Francis turned to Texas wingnut Dan Patrick for comment.
"The welfare system was to be a safety net, not a reason to come to America," Patrick said. "The people that have come to this country, Ellis Island and since, came here for the American Dream."
This is where I once again feel compelled to point out that he is speaking of LEGAL immigrants, who have properly applied for and received a work permit, otherwise known as a green card. Yes, he is claiming that these same people who come here to WORK are just dirty moochers who pay taxes but are moochers nevertheless.
"When I see Kamala Harris and the Democrats on stage, they are really trying to destroy the American Dream," he said without a scintilla of proof.
Patrick then described what he called the "American story," where one starts with nothing, works their butt off, and has something to pass along to their family. He forgot to mention that this "story" applies to almost no one, but especially not people of color who do not enjoy the same privilege he does. His story is a "bootstraps" story but most people don't even have boots, much less bootstraps.
"Instead Democrats want to take us down the socialist path. You start with nothing, you never get anything. You need anything because the government gives you everything. You have nothing to leave," he mocked. "That's not the American experience. That's not the American story."
In a truly weird riff, Patrick then compared the protests in Hong Kong to Hitler's Germany.
"This is like the Jewish families who tried to get their children out of Germany when they knew the end was coming," he warned. "You will see these Chinese families, the wealthy ones who can afford it, trying to get their kids to America. Like Cuba, get your family to America."
"This is not a place that Kamala Harris gets to carve out for the future or anyone else," he vowed.
This was a rant so bizarre and so utterly out of all reality that the entire panel chose not to respond directly but instead dance around it and come back to reality.
Leslie Marshall disagreed with it, pointing out that the people affected by this edict of Trump's are legal immigrants, and pointing out that it's not just welfare benefits that are part of the safety net those workers pay for, but also disability benefits.
"If you come to this country because somebody in California who owns a winery or a farm has dangled the carrot of opportunity and you want to feed your family, and you come here legally and get a job and now you've lost a job or you become disabled, you are treated as a second-class citizen because you have a green card? You can you legally and should be, I believe, entitled to any of the benefits," she said.
Even Dagen McDowell wasn't having it, pointing to the 837-page rule as a complicating factor at a time where immigrants are actually needed to fill jobs. She asked, "It begs the question of why now? Why these additional restrictions?"
Honestly, it was too late. Nothing that might be reasonable at that point mattered, because the Lt. Governor of the state of Texas showed himself to be absolutely irrational and indoctrinated with nonsense that came right out of the heads of the John Birch society and the billionaires who founded it. There are plenty of reasons not to like this ridiculous rule, but Dan Patrick's defense of it was ridiculous and offensive.