Twitter users share immigrant success stories after Kelly says vast majority 'don't have the skills' to assimilate
© Greg Nash

Social media users are firing back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE’s chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE for saying that a vast majority of immigrants coming to the U.S. illegally “don’t have the skills” to assimilate by showcasing immigrant success stories. 

Author Delia Cabe sent out a rallying cry over Twitter on Friday for people to use the hashtag #DearJohnKelly to tweet immigrants' successful integration stories.

“Let’s start a #DearJohnKelly hashtag,” Cabe tweeted. “If your ancestors came from a poor rural area either in the US or other countries and DID integrate well, tweet it with this hashtag. Their lives deserve to be honored. Give them a voice.

Cabe appeared to be responding to a Friday interview Kelly gave to NPR in which he made several comments about immigrants in the country illegally.

“The vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS-13,” Kelly said in the interview. “But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people.”

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“In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm,” he continued. “They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing. ... They don't integrate well, they don't have the skills.”

Author Celeste Ng used Cabe’s hashtag to tell the story of her father who was born in rural China and who moved to the United States to get his Ph.D. before working for the Department of Interior and NASA.

Kelly also said in the NPR interview that it wasn’t “cruel and heartless” to separate a mother from her children if they enter the country illegally.

“The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever,” Kelly said.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) ripped first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Melania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet Pamela Anderson claims she convinced Melania Trump to stop wearing fur MORE’s social wellness campaign, saying that her husband’s immigration policies don’t align with her new agenda.

#DearJohnKelly: Separating children from their parents doesn't seem like a Be Best policy,” Lieu tweeted Saturday. “Also, it violates international human rights law.”

Soon hundreds of other social media users were adding their own stories and condemning Kelly for his hard-liner stance on immigration.