Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk issued an apology for recent statements on F1 visas in a speech at the Univrsity of Florida on Tuesday.
The TPUSA head has come under fire for directly echoing a left wing talking point on immigration: that we should be “stapling green cards to the diplomas” of foreign students, allowing them to live in the United States and poach jobs from native Americans.
That particular phrase has previously been echoed verbatim by prominent Democrats such as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama, raising questions as to where Kirk and the ostensibly conservative organization TPUSA get their talking points playbook.
Kirk is currently in the midst of a complex fragmentation war within the MAGA community, as many young conservatives view TPUSA as social liberals using Trump branding to secure power and influence.
FOX News host Tucker Carlson even made a veiled reference to Kirk’s “stapling green gards to diplomas” statements in a monologue on Monday.
— U.S. Tech Workers (@USTechWorkers) November 12, 2019
The negative backlash appears to induced a profound ideological shift for Kirk, as in a speech for his “Cluture War” tour on Tuesday he apologized for his neoliberal views on the F1 visa program.
Huge moment! Charlie Kirk walks back his “stapling green cards to diplomas” statement. admits “ I was wrong” @michellemalkin @AnnCoulter @JacobCLloyd @NickJFuentes @vdare @SteveFranssen @VDAREJamesK @OPTlCS__CZECH #CultureWar clipped from simonsasquatch on Dlive. pic.twitter.com/iS8x1kPSTK
— Americhad (@TheBavarianChad) November 13, 2019
“I’m gonna do something not a lot of people in politics are not comfortable doing,” Kirk said. “I’m gonna admit I was wrong about something.”
Kirk said he no longer holds the opinion that any foreign student who graduates from an American university should be automatically handed a green card.