- Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested during his show on Friday night that California has the worst quality of life in the US because of mass immigration from Latin America.
- The suggestion was part of a larger conversation about a recent US News and World Report ranking that placed California last in terms of quality of life among the 50 US states.
- Other conservatives used the report as political fodder to criticize the state’s left-leaning government.
Primetime Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson used a segment during his show Friday night to focus on a recent report that rated California last in terms of quality of life among the 50 US states.
“How do you take a place that was as world famous as Eden and in 50 years, make it the worst place in America?” Carlson asked his guest, radio talk show host Ethan Bearman.
When Bearman suggested that overpopulation might be one of the reasons for California’s poor quality of life, Carlson interjected.
“Hold on, where do the majority in the past 30 years – where do the majority of those people come from?” he asked. “Do they come from the Midwest? No, they came from a third world country. Do you think that might have something to do with it?”
Carlson continued: “The overwhelming majority [of immigrants] have come from Latin America. And a lot of them are awesome people, and smart, and add a lot, and even the super poor ones, I think a lot of them are really great people. But the truth is, if you import millions of really poor people with no education, it doesn’t mean they are bad people, but maybe your state gets a lot more like the countries they left.”
As the conversation proceeded, news chyrons flashed at the bottom of the broadcast.
“California Chaos: Drug Needles in the Streets,” one read.
“Is California Turning Third World?” read another.
In response to Carlson’s segment, California Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, took to Twitter to blame California’s troubles on high taxes.
“My daughter sees @TuckerCarlson report on TV saying California is becoming 3rd world and asks me why,” Nunes said in a tweet. “I tell her CA has highest taxes in USA that make it hard for people to afford to live here. She responds ‘Don’t you get paid to fix it?'”
Since the release of the state rankings report by US News & World Report earlier this week, some conservatives latched onto it as proof of what they believe to be the state’s failed left-leaning leadership.
“Isn’t liberalism grand?” Newsmax TV host Wayne Allyn Root said in a tweet. “California has become a cross between Cuba and Northern Mexico. Third world commie foreign state.”
The rankings considered two sets of metrics for each state, including the natural environment (comprising drinking-water quality, air quality, and pollution and industrial toxins) and the social environment (comprising community engagement, social support, and voter participation).
In other metrics, California didn’t fare nearly as poorly. US News & World Report deemed its economy the fourth best in the nation, and its business environment claimed the No. 1 spot. The state also ranked 11th in healthcare.
But California does have its problems, including a rising homelessness population.
Over the last year, the homeless population has increased by 14%, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. More than 130,000 people in the state are homeless, which makes up about a quarter of the entire homeless population in the US.
In 2016, California lawmakers proposed spending $2 billion to build shelters for the state’s homeless and to provide facilities for mentally ill people on the streets.
But on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the funding has not yet been appropriated.