Not long after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the United States should not let in “illiterate” immigrants while lobbying merit-based immigration, his targets struck back.
“What good does it do to bring in somebody who is illiterate in their own country, has no skills and is going to struggle in our country and not be successful? That is not what a good nation should do, and we need to get away from it,” said Sessions on the FOX News program ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’
Congressman Jimmy Gómez, D-Los Ángeles, was among those who took to Twitter.
“My father was a Bracero (guest worker) & didn’t have more than a 3rd grade formal education. Two of his kids are teachers, 1 is an educator at a university, 1 works in tech, 1 works in the medical field and 1 member of congress. #whatgood! A lot of good.”
Gómez served in the California State Assembly before running to fill the seat vacated when state Attorney General Xavier Becerra was appointed to his current post.
Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Lorena S. González, a Democrat who represents a district in San Diego, also responded: “My father never never finished school in Mexico. He came to the US to pick & pack your food, opened a small business, bought a restaurant, purchased property — employed folks & paid a lot of taxes. His kids became a teacher, a lawyer & a legislator. I don’t know #what good?”
▪ Vincent Lozano: “Unskilled labor is where the American dream begins, dip shits. Ask any Mexican yard worker who has built a landscaping business. Or any grape picker Who now owns their California winery. Both exist. Both send their kids to college. All contribute to the economy. Sessions does not.”
▪ Martín Casas: “I thought the Republican Party didn’t believe in picking winners and losers in business? Why would they do it with immigration?
▪ EM Salas: “My husband's grandfather came here from Mexico when he was 17. He apprenticed as a pharmacist, owned 2 pharmacies, a strip mall, his own home, and 2 adjacent properties. He put his 3 children through college. That's what America is all about, @jeffsessions“
▪ Joe Salvo: “My grandfather came from Italy speaking no English, worked on banana boats in Brooklyn, then spent decades doing half the cement work in the north Bronx. One son became a renowned demographer, and his other son and grandson both became engineers.”
▪ Kalus: “The natural born citizens of AL are more illiterate than my immigrant family who learned English as their 3rd language when they came 50 years ago through “chain migration” and as refugees. Their 1st gen kids are all successful-home owners, college grads, business owners, etc.”
▪ Stephen Rosenthal: “Alabama ranks 47th in the nation for education. Should Sessions ban Alabamans from the rest of the country?”
▪ Austin Murphy: “First-generation Americans are among the hardest-working, most disciplined and successful people I know. More so than many Americans, they appreciate the opportunity to live here, and maximize it. By ignorance, prejudice, or both, @USAGSessions gets it exactly wrong. Again.”
▪ Giovanni Torre: “Mostly illiterate workers from poorer countries built modern America. Built the roads, the bridges, the railways, the dams - gave their blood, sweat and tears to build a better future for their children and their new country. What good? An astonishing question. Just astonishing.”
▪ John Douglass Gatenbee: “Look at US history and look at the lady on New York island then see if you can still ask that question.”
▪ John Eller: “What about the ones that come here and teach us, Mexican people are very good farmers. And they do jobs our people don’t want to do.”
▪ Alison Berkowitz: “A good moment to thank this country for taking in my husband's illiterate grandparents. They avoided the Holocaust and made a great life, lost a son in WWII, sent one to college, had all their grandchildren attend college. They would be ashamed of these policies.”
▪ Dianne Gallagher: “For the past 5 months there have been skilled immigrant workers in my little white town helping us put our lives back together after Harvey. How about that good?”
▪ John Jesensky: “Oh, so you want to get away from the precise thing that built America in the first place? Let’s ask some 4th generation Italian, Irish, Polish and English heritage citizens how they are doing after their ancestors took a chance on this country...”
▪ Shells Bells: “Well if literacy is the test, your president is in trouble.”
▪ Kathryn Rzeszut: “I'm a product of disadvantaged poor people who didn't know how to read/speak English when they arrived. My family worked hard jobs in coal mines and steel mills and fought in every war since WW2. I would argue this is exactly the kind of people good nations admit.”
▪ Jason A. Aluia: “The AG just described #immigration in the the 20th Century, also referred to as the greatest generation, who literally built our great nation, survived the depression, fought in our greatest wars, and became the middle class!”
▪ Karen Munro: “They come to give their children a better future. Education. Opportunity. Just ask the millions of first generation Americans. Their parents worked hard for them to succeed.”
▪ Matthew Gellert: “America is supposed to be the country for struggling people to get help from. Illiterate? We’ll provide education. Poor? We’ll provide opportunity. Scared? We’ll provide security. This man speaks the antithesis of what America represents.”
▪ Jean in Oakland: “This is EXACTLY what America was founded on - immigrants coming to shores to make a better life for themselves and their children. AG Sessions should listen to some immigrant family stories. He could start in the Oval with Trump immigration stories (both POTUS and FLOTUS).”
▪ Carol Ann: “What an insulting, judgemental statement. Who among us had rich, highly educated relatives come to America?”
▪ Cathy Larson: “I call BS. It takes a fair amount of gumption for someone who is deprived of education, regular work & is hungry to immigrate. Most of our families came from such situations. A naturalized citizen knows more about the history of this country than our president.”
▪ Elizabeth Derrico: “My great grandfather was illiterate and learned English in a glove factory in the 1880's. He raised 5 children, two of whom fought in WWI. They built businesses and farms. How dare you.”