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19th Jul 2018

PIC: Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is on holiday in Ireland and he’s talking about white privilege

Carl Kinsella

Bill O'Reilly

And he’s using his time here to make the most “Bill O’Reilly” point possible.

O’Reilly, who was fired from Fox News in 2017 amidst sexual harassment claims, is currently in Cavan getting in touch with his Irish roots. But mainly just getting mad about his own pet peeves.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Enjoying my time in Ireland. Visited County Cavan where my ancestors were evicted from their land in 1845. That forced them to come to America legally so they wouldn’t starve. Pardon me if I reject the “white privilege” scenario if applied to my family.”

O’Reilly is seemingly making the argument that the concept of “white privilege” doesn’t apply to him because his family was evicted from their home in 1845. An argument that seems pretty specious, at best.

O’Reilly also makes the point that his family immigrated to the States “legally,” a point that makes little sense — as federal American immigration laws are a more recent invention.

According to the American Immigration Council, “Many people assume that their family immigrated to the United States legally, or did it “the right way.”  In most cases, this statement does not reflect the fact that the U.S. immigration system was very different in the past and that their families might not have been allowed to enter had today’s laws been in effect.

“When many families arrived in the United States, there were no numerical limitations on immigration, no requirements to have an existing family or employment relationship with someone in the country, and no requirement to obtain a visa prior to arriving. The definition of who is “legal”—and who is not—changes with the evolution of immigration laws. In some cases, claiming that a family came “legally” is simply inaccurate—unauthorised immigration has been a reality for generations.”

The council further notes that “Many of our ancestors would not have qualified under today’s immigration laws. Until the late 19th century, there was very little federal regulation of immigration—there were virtually no laws to break.”

There is no doubt that a starving family fleeing Ireland would be refused a J1 or a H1B in this day and age unless they were sponsored by a well-paying employer.

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