Why John Oliver Wants Americans to Rethink Immigration
John Oliver: comedian, TV host, and immigrant. The "Last Week Tonight" star spoke with Brut about his work with the International Refugee Assistance Project — and what America gets wrong about immigration.
What John Oliver Wants You To Know About U.S. Immigration
John Oliver is a comedian, humanitarian but he’s also an immigrant — and wants Americans to wake up to how the U.S. is treating immigrants and refugees.
“I have hands on experience with the American immigration process, which is rough even for somebody like me, which is incredible because I have probably had all the advantages to navigate the U.S. immigration system and yet it is still incredibly difficult.”
Oliver is on the board of the International Refugee Assistance Project, which is dedicated to finding legal aid for refugees and displaced people. For Oliver, partnering with IRAP is a personal decision as much as it is political.
“There's a gigantic misconception between what you would think America's a process was for refugees and what it actually is, because you would think there was one that was at least coherent, but what there is something that is completely shattered and does not serve the people you have to kind of have to work despite the system rather than because of it. And that is where you do need a lawyer because it's built otherwise for you to fail.”
IRAP has resettled over 2,000 refugees and pushed for immigration policy changes that affect hundreds of thousands of refugees.
“You make a promise to someone in good faith who you've been through incredibly difficult situations with. And then to have the country slam the brakes on those visas particularly those special immigrant visas was absolutely infuriating to watch.”
Oliver says the current administration’s attitudes on immigrantion and refugees solutions goes against everything America stands for. “Any time you find yourself saying "go back where you came from," you're standing on some very spicy ground.”