A genealogist took commentator Tomi Lahren to task on Twitter after she made controversial comments about immigrants in this country. And she did so with Lahren’s own family history.
On Saturday, Lahren went on Fox News’ “Watters’ World” to defend White House chief of staff John Kelly’s remarks on immigrants. Kelly, formerly Trump’s homeland security secretary, told NPR last week that undocumented immigrants are “not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society.”
Lahren went even further and told host Jesse Watters that people who don’t speak English or who come from poverty shouldn’t be allowed to immigrate to the United States.
“These people need to understand that it’s a privilege to be an American and it’s a privilege that you work toward. It’s not a right. You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice,” she said.
“That’s not what this country is based on. We are based on the rule of law, and we believe in bringing the best people into this country to make it even better. We don’t believe in importing poverty. Trust me, I live in California. We have enough poverty. We have enough issues. We don’t need any more.”
The next day German journalist and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn tweeted about Lahren’s comments and shared some telling details about Lahren’s ancestry.
Mendelsohn tweeted that, according to the 1930 census, the political commentator’s great-great-great-grandmother had been living in the United States for 41 years and was still speaking German.
Lahren’s great-great-grandmother spoke no English after living in the United States for a decade, and her great-grandfather’s 1884 baptism was recorded in Norwegian.
Mendelsohn later wrote in a series of tweets that “people are people, and always have been.”
“Some of our ancestors broke laws, some were model citizens. Some never assimilated or spoke English. Some did. Blind lionization of the people who came before us may be just as dumb as the wholesale demonization of current immigrants,” she wrote.
She added, “What I’m trying to show here is that these nativists can’t keep trying to back up their argument by saying ‘the country doesn’t work this way’ when clearly it does, and has: for their families. So why do they *really* not want these people here? That’s what we need to dig out.”
Mendelsohn’s message was that Lahren shouldn’t be ashamed of her ancestors but should be aware of where she came from before criticizing others.
“As long as people like Lahren continue to push a specious agenda that suggests today’s immigrants are somehow wholly different from previous ones, I’ll keep showing just how alike they really are,” wrote Mendelsohn.
Lahren did not immediately respond to a request through Fox News for comment and has not responded to Mendelsohn on social media.