Rush Limbaugh, widely condemned and losing advertisers after misogynistic attacks on a college student, has a history of making offensive and controversial comments, spanning the length of his broadcasting career. This vitriol hasn't been reserved only for women: he has attacked low-income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, unions and union members, and the LGBT community.
Another community Limbaugh has repeatedly mocked, denigrated, and insulted are Latinos and immigrants in the United States, whom he has derided as an “invasive species.”
Here's a rundown of some of Rush Limbaugh's worst comments directed at immigrants and Latinos, and laying out his views of comprehensive immigration reform.
On August 15, 2011, Limbaugh said:
[S]ome people would say we're already under attack by aliens -- not space aliens, but illegal aliens.
On April 1, 2005, Limbaugh described undocumented immigrants as an “invasive species,” saying:
LIMBAUGH: So invasive species like mollusks and spermatozoa are not good, and we've got a federal judge say, “You can't bring it in here,” but invasive species in the form of illegal immigration is fine and dandy -- bring 'em on, as many as possible, legalize them wherever we can, wherever they go, no matter what they clog up. So we're going to break the bank; we're going to bend over backwards. The federal judiciary is going to do everything it can to stop spermatozoa and mollusks from coming in, but other invasive species? We're supposed to bend over and grab the ankles and say, “Deal with it.”
On January 31, 2011, Limbaugh asked:
[H]as the CDC ever published a story about the dangers of catching diseases when you sleep with illegal aliens?
On July 1, 2010, Limbaugh said of Obama:
He always wants to expand every one's rights: illegal aliens, terrorists, Russian spies, except American citizens.
On March 28, 2006, Limbaugh said of Mexican immigrants:
[L]ook at it from Vicente Fox's point of view. I mean if -- if you had a renegade, potential criminal element that was poor and unwilling to work, and you had a chance to get rid of 500,000 every year, would you do it?
On April 13, 2009, Limbaugh speculated that Somali pirates were “immigrants” with “an entitlement mentality” :
I could have sworn that they were originally Americans who maybe fled. Maybe they were illegal immigrants or something who got here, come here with an entitlement mentality, didn't like it, fled the scene because Republicans drove them out of the country in the last election, so they went over to Somalia and started pirating things. Because they have the attitude of entitlement just like a lot of American citizens do.
On May 5, 2010, Limbaugh discussed a protest against the controversial Arizona immigration law by the NBA's Phoenix Suns and said:
LIMBAUGH: So you have the ownership of the Phoenix Suns, the Los Suns, and whoever -- “We don't want to offend the portion of our fan base. We want to appear to be politically correct. We want to appear to be all-inclusive” and so forth. Well, fine and dandy, but what happens when that contributes to the overall deterioration of the culture of this society?
On April 26, 2010, defending the controversial Arizona immigration law, Limbaugh asked:
Isn't protecting our legal citizens from an invading army of illegal aliens who are using our services and taking our jobs, isn't that a basic notion of fairness? Isn't that in the Constitution? Where is the fairness to American citizens here?
On April 28, 2010, Limbaugh continued his defense of Arizona's immigration law, saying:
LIMBAUGH: Once the law, properly enacted, is routinely ignored, and ignored with the blessing and the promotion of the political class, then you have a breakdown of organized society. And there is nothing compassionate about what's happening to the people of Arizona. There is nothing compassionate about the violation of private property rights. There is nothing compassionate about the abuse of the taxpayer. There is nothing compassionate about the closing of schools and hospitals. Nothing at all compassionate about increased drug trafficking and crime. Nothing compassionate about that at all.
In fact, not only is that not compassion, we are at the forefront of a dissolution of a nation.
On August 23, 2006, Limbaugh discussed the competition in a season of CBS' Survivor, in which contestants were reportedly divided into competing “tribes” by ethnicity, and said of the “Hispanic tribe” :
[T]hese people have shown a remarkable ability, ladies and gentlemen, to cross borders, boundaries -- they get anywhere they want to go. They can do it without water for a long time. They don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do. So, our money, early money, is on the Hispanics.
On October 3, 2011, discussing the differences between a “good” school and a “poor” one as depicted in the novel, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Limbaugh said of immigrant children in the public school system:
[T]his is another reason why the children of illegals are sought for public schools: They'll put up with it. The children of illegals will put up with these dilapidated schools because for them, it is a huge step up. And these schools become little indoctrination centers for the children of illegal immigrants, as they are brainwashed and programmed to become Democrats as adults.
On July 1, 2010, Limbaugh discussed U.S. immigration policy and said:
We are specifically keeping the best and brightest out. It is the dumb and dumbest that we are letting in. Let me rephrase that: It is the ill-educated and the uneducated that we are letting in. The VCs, college graduates, PhDs, you name it, from all over the world, they are limited. The number of people of that caliber -- severely limited and tightly controlled.
On September 29, 2011, Limbaugh said of immigrants:
The Democrats need poor, dependent people if they're gonna stay in business. And if we don't have enough poverty at home, we'll import it. That's what our open-borders policy is: It's about importing poverty and importing the number of potential registered voters for the Democrat party.
On November 15, 2011, Limbaugh defended Newt Gingrich for describing Spanish as “the language of living in a ghetto” and suggested that Spanish is an “obstacle ... put in the way of prosperity and people achieving it” :
LIMBAUGH: In my mind, there's nothing wrong with it. I don't instinctively know what's wrong with it. There is a language of the ghetto. There is a language of the barrio. And it's not good. There is an attitude. There is a behavior. There is a mindset and we wouldn't anybody to be stuck in it.
LIMBAUGH: “Mr. Limbaugh, it's not that he said 'the language of prosperity'; it's that he followed it up by saying 'the language of the barrio.' ” Well, that makes total sense to us. I know what he means by that -- and it's not the language of prosperity. We don't think that in America, people should be shut off from the American dream. We don't think that people ought to be shut off from the opportunity of prosperity and we think that there are some obstacles that have been put in the way of prosperity and people achieving it. Newt's simply saying get those out of the way. And for this he's got to apologize?
On April 26, 2010, Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: You've got Hezbollah in Arizona. You've got Mexican drug cartels operating in Arizona. You've got the steady stream of illegals over the border, and you've got people being killed now in Arizona. They are at their wits' end. Enforcing the law is the overall thing, and if there are some civil rights violations, so be it. That's how desperate the situation is. They want the law anyway.
See, not everybody thinks that civil rights are the end-all and be-all of every single issue. But the folks in Washington just cannot imagine that. “Civil rights violations? Oh my gosh. The worst thing we could possibly do is have civil rights violations” -- because it's code words. It's simple code words.