Editor’s Note 5/3/18: The Daily Beast ran a story on July 19, 2016 with the headline “Lou Holtz at RNC Says Immigrants Are Deadbeats Invading the U.S.” In his speech, Mr. Holtz did not say that immigrants are deadbeats, nor did he use the word “deadbeat” at all, and we are happy to have corrected the headline to reflect this at the time. While The Daily Beast stands by the rest of its story, we recognize that Mr. Holtz also spoke to the audience about his poor grandparents, who themselves immigrated to the United States and were processed through Ellis Island. The Daily Beast sincerely regrets the error in the headline and that Mr. Holtz was embarrassed and hurt by this error.
UPDATE 10/7/16: The headline on this story has changed. The original headline conflated two points that Mr. Holtz made in his speech - the need for immigrants to learn English, and the group of Americans, whom Mitt Romney in 2012 infamously labeled the "47%," who, Holtz stated, make their living by the way they vote. But Holtz did not say that immigrants are "deadbeats," and we sincerely regret this error.
Lou Holtz, the legendary retired coach of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish football team, has a lot of feelings about immigrants.
Speaking at a luncheon the Republican National Coalition for Life hosted during the RNC to honor Phyllis Schlafly, Holtz said the high number of immigrants coming to the U.S. constitutes an “invasion.” And he said new immigrants need to assimilate better. Holtz added that his grandparents learned English after immigrating to the U.S. from Ukraine, and insisted his family learn it as well. New immigrants to this country, he continued, need to learn and speak English and “become us.”
“I don’t want to become you,” he continued. “I don’t want to speak your language, I don’t want to celebrate your holidays, I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team!”
The crowd laughed and applauded. Schlafly is primarily known for her anti-feminist views, but she’s also a dogged opponent of comprehensive immigration reform. She endorsed Donald Trump early in the Republican primary, to the chagrin of Ted Cruz’s backers, and cited his stance on immigration as part of the reason for her support.
At the lunch in her honor, Holtz also echoed Mitt Romney’s campaign-damning “47 percent” comment.
“A lot of people make a living by the way they vote,” Holtz said. “Forty-seven percent of people make a living by the way they vote.”
“They can make a living by the way they vote,” he continued, “but they can’t make a life.”
Holtz also said he has to park his van in the back of his church’s parking lot and back it into a spot there because it sports a bumper sticker that embarrasses his wife. He said the sticker is directed at some of his golf buddies, and reads, “Jesus loves you. Everybody else thinks you’re an asshole.”