A Fox News guest smeared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional district on Tuesday night, declaring that it was dirty because it was occupied by immigrants ― and then apologized for his comments the following day.
Seth Barron, an editor at the conservative City Journal, continued the anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s common on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” when he made his comments during on a segment targeting Ocasio-Cortez for “neglecting her district.”
Carlson shared video shot by his camera crew of trash in the New York Democrat’s district and then attacked her for supposed hypocrisy over her support for the environment and the Green New Deal.
“How can someone who claims to care about the environment so much she’s going to ban air travel represent a district that’s dirty?” he asked. “If you claim to care about the environment, you’d think that the little piece of America you’re responsible for, that you represent in the Congress, would be clean, but hers isn’t. Why?”
“Well, part of the reason is because her district is actually one of the least American districts in the country,” Barron replied. “Now by that, I don’t mean that it’s not part of America, but it’s occupied by relatively few American citizens. A very high percentage of her district is, in fact, illegal aliens.”
According to Census Reporter, 46.2% of the residents in New York’s 14th Congressional District are foreign-born. It is unclear why Barron drew the conclusion that these immigrants were undocumented or not U.S. citizens.
Barron blamed the litter in the video on immigrants, claiming that people were living in “illegal spaces” and “basements.”
“So they wind up producing a lot of garbage that the landlords don’t want thrown out normally,” he said. “So hence, you wind up with a lot of garbage on the streets. You have illegal food vendors pouring their pig grease into the gutters. I mean I worked out there ― it can be a little gross.”
On Wednesday, Barron tweeted out a four-part apology. “I chose the wrong words and that is my fault. I am sorry,” he wrote, adding that he had intended to raise the issue of both legal and undocumented immigrants not having access to affordable housing.
Barron’s fourth tweet concluded: “I didn’t do justice to a complex issue and I apologize.”
Last year, Carlson lost advertisers when he claimed that immigrants were making America “dirtier.” In November, he also argued that “crowding” a country was the fastest way to “despoil it, to pollute it, to make it a place you wouldn’t want to live.”
This story has been updated with an apology from Barron.