Today, Donald Trump gave a speech to FBI academy graduates in which he performed his best impression of a man who actually knows what he’s talking about. It was, not surprisingly, a truly pathetic affair in which he revealed how little he knows not only about his job, but the country he was elected to lead.
The president is a man who speaks in buzzwords and branding slogans with no regard for the actual reality of situations. He is always in campaign mode, regardless of his audience. So, given the chance to speak to some of the most distinguished members of the law enforcement community, he decided to go off on an inane, xenophobic, mistruth-riddled rant on immigration.
Trump explained the Diversity Immigrant Visa program like a child giving a book report on a book he’s never even seen the back cover of, let alone read.
He started out by invoking the specter of terrorism, presumably because he thought it would prep his audience and make the nonsense he was about to spew more palatable. Then, he went off on “chain migration,” his new favorite term and one that somehow manages to dehumanize immigrants, while at the same time misrepresenting the way immigration actually works.
The president moved on to talk about the Diversity Visa saying it’s a lottery (which it is, but not the way he thinks it is) and pantomiming grabbing a handful of tickets from an imaginary bowl.
“You think the countries are giving us their best people? What kind of system is that?” Trump said, ignoring the fact that foreign governments don’t pick who is selected in the Visa lottery.
“They give us their worst people. They put them in a bin,” he said, lying or either deeply misinformed. “But in his hand when he’s picking them, is really the worst of the worst,” Trump added, conjuring up some shadow figure who somehow manages to cheat the immigration system and pack the United States with undesirables.
In reality, immigrants apply through the U.S. State Department, and are subjected to very strict criteria for eligibility. The program isn’t exploited by foreign governments to get rid of their unwanted citizens. It’s a case-by-case application that the individuals are responsible for handling.
But of course, Trump has never let something like basic facts impede his rhetoric. He knows his ignorant, bigoted base hates immigrants, so he’s willing to lie and make up nightmare scenarios to incite them and keep them rallied around him. It’s a disgusting betrayal of the truth, and sadly something that we’ve come to expect from the habitual liar.
Kyle Griffin of MSNBC shared a video of the speech, as well as a quick refutation of Trump’s talking points:
Trump misrepresents the visa lottery: “They come in by lottery. They give us their worst people. They put ‘em in a bin, but in his hand when he’s picking ‘em is really the worst of the worst.”
There are strict eligibility requirements. It’s not a game. pic.twitter.com/OHrKUJkl1C
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 15, 2017
If you’d like to learn more about the Visa program from people who actually know what they’re talking about, click here.