Undocumented immigrants must present night vision videos of themselves to win a new class of scholarships offered by the University of California at Berkeley, Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade inaccurately said in a segment aired Wednesday.
U.C.-Berkeley announced plans Tuesday to create a new, $1 million scholarship fund aimed at helping nearly 200 undocumented students defray the cost of higher education.
“All they have to do is bring footage of them in green video -- night vision video -- and they’ll get in free,” Kilmeade said on Wednesday’s edition of the Fox News program.
Law enforcement officials often use night-vision devices, including cameras, to detect people crossing the border illegally.
Applicants for the new scholarships do not have to present such videos to participate in the new program. Kilmeade made that up and then said it on national television.
“Absolutely not,” U.C.-Berkeley Media Relations Director Gretchen Kell told The Huffington Post when asked if students would have to present night vision videos to earn scholarships. Kell noted that most of the news coverage of the scholarship program had been positive.
Kilmeade’s report was also inaccurate on other points. The scholarship program will not allow undocumented immigrants to “get in free” to U.C.-Berekley, as Kilmeade says. While the funding will help offset the financial burden of attending college, students who win scholarships will receive between $4,000 and $6,000, according to U.S.-Berkeley. That sum doesn’t quite cover the cost of a semester’s worth of tuition and fees, which amount to $7,493 for in-state residents, according to the university’s website.
Kilmeade closes the segment by saying “sorry citizens, you’re out of luck.”
U.S. citizens may apply for much more financial assistance to attend universities than undocumented immigrants, including federal student aid. The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a private foundation, made the funds available to undocumented immigrants at Berkeley precisely because they do not qualify for the Pell grants, federally backed loans or work-study jobs that are open to U.S. citizens.
It’s possible that Kilmeade intended his inaccurate comments about night vision videos as a joke. Kilmeade's biography indicates he has 10 years of experience as a stand up comedian.
While Kilmeade introduced the segment on U.C.-Berkeley's new aid package, the word "illegals" appeared on the screen. A June directive from the Obama administration exempts people brought into the country illegally as children from deportation and allows them to apply for temporary, renewable work authorization.
In the segment below, an undocumented U.C.-Berkeley student explains what the new scholarship will mean for him.