Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is comparing slavery to immigration in the United States, a view that one slavery expert calls “inappropriate and wildly inaccurate.” Carson was talking about the work ethic of immigrants who came through Ellis Island during his first speech to the department on Monday. He said, “There were other immigrants who came here on the bottom of slave ships.”
A HUD spokesman declined to comment when asked about Carson’s statement.
Rana Hogarth is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She says slaves, unlike immigrants, were “a group of people making this journey against their will.”
Hogarth is calling on Carson to correct his statement.