As Oliver pointed out, this is hardly the first time Americans have resorted to nationalistic fear-mongering to turn popular opinion against refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.
“Every generation has had its own ugly reaction to refugees, whether they are the Irish, the Vietnamese, the Cubans, or the Haitians, and those fears have ben broadly unfounded,” the late night host said. “In fact, there was only one time in American history when the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true, and we’ll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday.”
Hysteria and facts don’t quite go hand in hand, however. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen 31 governors say that they’ll refuse to accept Syrian refugees though they have no legal authority to do so, and Republican presidential candidates argue that there is hardly any vetting for refugees, despite much evidence to the contrary.
Oliver ran through the extensive, 18-24 month process refugees are subjected to, which involves interviews, document review and health screenings.
The mind-bogglingly intense screenings prove that “We’re just letting anyone in.”
“We are the United State of America, not Arizona State,” Oliver joked.