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President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Before Ben Carson caused a stir, President Obama also likened slaves to immigrants


Newly minted Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson found himself in the midst of scrutiny after he likened immigrants to slaves in his first speech to the department on Monday. But President Obama echoed similar rhetoric in December 2015 at a naturalization ceremony. 

President Obama said, "Certainly, it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves. There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more."

President Obama likens slaves to immigrants between 29:24 and 30:02.

For comparison, here's what Carson said, "There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less, but they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land."

Carson since clarified his remarks in a Facebook post, ensuring to clarify the difference between slaves, who came to America against their will, and immigrants who sought refuge in the US voluntarily.

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