John Oliver opened his first episode of “Last Week Tonight” since the show won its latest Emmy Awards by talking about the situation at the border and the brutalization of Haitian migrants by border patrol agents, which was captured on video last week. In the widely seen video, agents on horseback used their horses’ reins as whips. One agent was caught on camera yelling “Hey! You use your women? This is why your country is s—!”
“Really, you’re going to call their country s—?” Oliver responded. “Because they just got here, and you’re not making a great case for this one. So far, a hundred percent of their experience in America has involved a belligerent man dressed as a Party City park ranger screaming at them on horseback. You’re not doing much for our f—ing brand.”
Continuing on, Oliver observed that when the Biden administration was confronted with the disturbing images from the border, they “fell back on one of their greatest hits,” which is claiming “That’s not who we are,” as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on CBS Mornings last week.
“Well, hold on there,” replied Oliver. “Because saying, ‘This is not who we are’ about white people chasing Black people on horses is a bit of a stretch. Historically, we’ve been yes, and-ing that idea since 1619. If you listed the top three things that make America America, it would be regional sandwich differences, flyovers at halftime, and white people chasing Black people while on horseback. I’m not saying that’s what made America great, just what made America America.”
“As for ‘This is not who the Biden/Harris administration is,’ are you absolutely sure about that?” Oliver continued. “Because from an immigration standpoint, there is not a ton of evidence that you are anything else yet. This administration’s record on immigration, particularly on the Southern border, has been deeply underwhelming. And this week, they’ve been all over the map. Because while many Haitians were released into the U.S., we also sent thousands back to a nation that’s recently suffered an earthquake and a presidential assassination with no clear rationale for how those decisions were made. And it’s not great when our process for deciding who gets released and who gets expelled is as haphazard as the process of finding a new host of ‘Jeopardy!’”
Oliver called out the Biden administration for using an “infamous” Trump-era immigration policy called Title 42, “a bulls— move” that allows them to turn away asylum seekers on the basis of public health, which is probably illegal.
“It feels that the Biden administration is far more focused on seeming better when it comes to immigration than actually being better,” Oliver said. This point was driven home by Psaki reiterating a few days after her “this is not who we are” interview that the images were very disturbing to President Biden and announcing a new policy change: horses will no longer be used in Del Rio. “Hold on,” said Oliver. “Are you implying it was all the horsie’s fault?”
“The Biden administration promised a big shift when it comes to how we treat migrants at the border, but eight months in, where is it?” Oliver said in conclusion. “It is past time for this administration to stop simply telling people who we are and start f—ing showing them.”
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