On Tuesday’s “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert didn’t have kind words for Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to “temporarily” ban all immigration. He also didn’t like that Trump announced the policy via tweet, comparing it to if Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden on TikTok.
On Monday night, Trump tweeted “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.”
It hasn’t been clarified just why he justified the policy in part on the idea of protecting “jobs,” as the current severe economic contraction is a direct side effect of shutdown measures taken across the country to facilitate social distancing and slow the spread of coronavirus, which has killed more than 40,000 people domestically since Feb. 29. Also, there is no evidence that any of the jobs lost since the shutdowns began were actually secretly given to immigrants instead.
So back to Colbert. “Exactly how xenophobic is he being here? Well, even during the height of the 1918 flu pandemic, the United States allowed more than 110,000 immigrants to enter the country,” he said. “So, Donald Trump is more xenophobic than Woodrow Wilson.” (Wilson was president from 1913-1921.)
That’s when Colbert got to the TikTok joke. “This shouldn’t shock me, but the United States of America has a president who just ordered a sweeping change in our national immigration policy via tweet. That would be like Obama announcing the death bin Laden on TikTok.”
Cue a clip in which Obama’s 2011 White House speech announcing that achievement was given a TikTok makeover, with every few words interrupted by a sample of NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” It’s funny stuff and you can watch the clip above. The immigration policy stuff kicks in about two minutes in.