While discussing immigration on the January 11 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck referred to his guest, former Rep. Herman Badillo (D-NY), as “an immigrant from Puerto Rico.” Badillo was born in Puerto Rico in 1929 and moved to New York City when he was 11 years old. As Media Matters for America has noted, the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 granted U.S. citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico.
Addressing “the difference” between certain immigrant groups, Beck asked: “Why are Hispanics not making it, where Asians come in and knock it out of the park?”
From the January 11 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Joining me now with his insights into this problem is Herman Badillo. He is a former U.S. congressman, author of the new book, One Nation, One Standard, and he's honestly a man who has been called a racist, lately. Herman, I mean, the name-calling. Qué pasa, baby?
BADILLO: Well, I don't know. But what happens is I've even been called blanquito -- which means acting white -- because I believe that the parents should pay more attention to the education of their children --
BADILLO: -- make sure they learn English and they stay in school. And I think it's stupid to say that that's acting white. That's what everybody should be doing.
BECK: Yeah, you know, it's amazing how education in some communities is being -- is being downplayed or even denigrated. That is the key to the American dream. To better yourself, it's got to come through education.
BADILLO: Well, education is the answer to poverty. Many people expect government to provide jobs, to provide housing, to provide health care, but if you get a good education, you can get your own job, provide for your own housing, and your own health care. So, that is the answer to solving the problem.
BECK: You are an immigrant from Puerto Rico.
BADILLO: Puerto Rico. Yes.
BECK: Yes. What is the difference -- well, why are Hispanics not making it, where Asians come in and knock it out of the park?
BADILLO: Well, one of the problems Hispanics have is the problem of immigration. Many of them get here illegally, you see, and they don't really have to make that commitment that people did when they came to Ellis Island, and now we have 12 and maybe more millions of illegal immigrants. But the fact remains that, however you get here, you cannot make any progress unless you learn to speak the language first.