France won the 2018 World Cup with a resounding 4-2 victory over Croatia on July 15.
You could say they were pretty excited about it.
Congratulations poured in from across the globe, including from President Donald Trump.
Trump — who at the time was in Europe for a NATO summit, a visit with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and a trip to Helsinki, Finland, to discuss … something with Russian President Vladimir Putin — praised the French for their big win.
Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament — one of the best ever!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
There’s a helluva lotta irony packed into his tweet though. Because just two days before, Trump had warned European leaders that immigration is “changing the culture” of their countries. And not in a good way.
“I know it is politically not necessarily correct to say that, but I’ll say it, and I’ll say it loud,” Trump told reporters during a press conference.
“I think [immigration has] been very bad for Europe. … I just think it’s changing the culture. It’s a very negative thing for Europe.”
France’s soccer team, however, epitomizes the very cultural shift Trump warned about.
Its players have roots stemming from nearby Germany, Portugal, and Italy as well as Guinea, Mali, and Algeria. No fewer than 15 athletes have lineages tied to Africa, and about two-thirds of the team members boast immigrant backgrounds.
“There may be players who come from different origins,” player Antoine Griezmann said after his team’s big win, “but we do have the same state of mind.”
“For our country, we give everything we have. As soon as you wear the jersey, we do everything for each other.”
Immigrants get the job done — in more ways than one.
Yes, they win championships, but they’re also the lifeblood of many Western nations — including (and especially) the U.S.
Immigrants are our teachers, our business owners, our doctors, our friends. They’ve launched our most successful companies, starred in our most beloved TV shows, and written our most patriotic songs. Immigrants are as American as apple pie, and they have been since the beginning.
The 2018 World Cup may have marked a big victory for France. But it’s also a victory for immigrants everywhere. Let’s not forget it.
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