Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel hosted a panel discussion last week featuring people who oppose the idea of amnesty for illegal aliens who currently benefit from the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The purpose of the panel was evidently not to give their views a dispassionate hearing, but rather to challenge and ridicule them. But Kimmel was in for a surprise, as amnesty opponents held their own.
Trump supporter and DACA opponent Arthur Schaper recalled at Townhall.com how ABC had approached him and other Trump supporters. “At first, I was reluctant. Kimmel uses every shame-inducing prop imaginable to attack President Trump and conservatives in general,” he wrote. But in the end, he agreed to participate in the show.
Kimmel introduced the segment by mocking the debate: “All of a sudden, [DACA] has become a polarizing issue, become a bargaining chip for this stupid wall he [Trump] wants to build.”
But the first interviews proceeded evenly, with Celeste — a Latina, legal immigrant conservative — setting a serious tone. Kimmel waited until the fourth guest, a man with a white beard, before going for his first laugh: “You don’t play Santa at the mall?” he jested.
Schaper anticipated Kimmel’s next move:
After the interviews, our team waited in the Green Room. I pondered who Kimmel was going to have us meet. “He’s going to present a child who is in this country illegally,” I imagined. Lo and Behold, Kimmel introduced us to Esmeralda, a DACA recipient brought into this country by her law-breaking illegal parents. She was seated with a baby girl in her lap.
Kimmel then asked who would like to deport Esmeralda. Half of the hands were raised.
Celeste, who did not raise her hand, said that Esmeralda should go back to Mexico and apply just as she had. Kimmel acknowledged, “That’s a fair point,” but then introduced Michael, Esmeralda’s American fiancé, who serves in the National Guard. Kimmel went on to ask whether it was right for Esmeralda to face deportation while Michael was deployed abroad.
The bearded man then pointed out that the baby girl was a U.S. citizen and should not be deported, and added that he believed Esmeralda should go back to Mexico and work on immigrating legally, with Michael’s help. Kimmel pointed out that it could take Esmeralda ten years to return.
Then came an exchange so striking that it is amazing ABC did not leave it on the proverbial cutting room floor:
Celeste: We can agree to disagree, but I know that you will concur with me that we live in the most loving, compassionate, and exceptional country.
Kimmel: No, I don’t. I don’t agree with that. I think that this country has become cruel.
Michael then pleaded his case. When Schaper tried to respond, Kimmel said, coldly: “I’m trying to imagine you as a little boy. Yeah, I think I can.”
After more back-and-forth, Kimmel addressed Celeste: “You think they should just get married right now, right?”
“That’s a pathway to citizenship that’s already available,” Schaper pointed out.
Kimmel then pronounced Celeste the “defector” in the group, which she resisted, though she said she would make an exception in Esmeralda’s case. He then physically pulled her over to the opposite couch to take his place next to Esmeralda, Michael, and the baby.
Schaper’s account at Townhall suggests that Kimmel was rude and intolerant during parts of the discussion that did not make the final cut. He notes that Kimmel left out the impassioned views of the panel’s sole African-American participant:
Chanell gave the most impassioned statements, declaring how her husband was an immigrant, that she had waited in line with him for years before finalizing his naturalization status. “You are playing on our compassion! You didn’t let us bring our children!” Chanell then showed a picture of her daughter on her phone. She died at 5 years old, unable to get adequate health care. “Why won’t the federal government pay more attention to Americans?” Chanell asked. During the earlier individual interview segment, Chanell had railed against illegal aliens for stealing the civil rights movement forged by black Americans to assert their rights in the South. Chanell schooled Kimmel on the amnesty movement’s misuse of the term “Dreamer” for young illegals. “Our children are dreamers, too!”
Chanell also described the devastation which illegal immigration has wrought in black communities. In another disgusting display, Kimmel looked over to Esmeralda: “You’re not going around killing black people, are you?” It is amazing to me to what extent white liberals will dishonor the plights of the very minority communities which they virtue-signal about to the press and the public.
Schaper is urging ABC to release the raw video of the discussion.
Regardless, however, the participants stood up for their views and broke the template Kimmel tried to impose on them.
When a late-night talk-show host who fancies himself more intelligent than any conservative stooped to making fun of the way his guests look, there can be no doubt as to who prevailed in the debate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.