Chelsea Clinton: Carson's remark on slaves and immigration ‘can’t be real’

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton on Monday voiced disbelief after Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson described slaves as “immigrants.”

Carson earlier Monday referred to slaves as “immigrants” hoping for better lives during a talk with HUD employees.

“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less," he said. “But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

The Senate confirmed Carson to be President Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development in a 58-41 vote last week, with six Democrats and one independent senator backing him.

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Carson’s confirmation process was largely free of controversy, but some Democrats questioned whether his lack of government experience made him appropriate for the post.

The retired neurosurgeon became one of Trump’s top surrogates during the 2016 presidential race after unsuccessfully competing against him for the GOP’s nomination.

Trump defeated 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE, who is Chelsea Clinton’s mother, for the presidency in November.

Carson made a comparison between abortion and slavery during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in October 2015.

“During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of slave owners thought they had a right to do whatever they wanted to the slave,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“What if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery, I think it’s wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do?’ ” added Carson, who opposes abortion even in cases involving incest or rape.