Today Show host Karl Stefanovic has fired back at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over his comments about refugees coming into Australia.
Mr Dutton made headlines yesterday when he said that most refugees coming into Australia would be “illiterate and innumerate” and would “steal Australian jobs”.
While he received backing from Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, many people took issue with his comments, including Karl.
Speaking on his show this morning, Karl ripped into Mr Dutton calling him “un-Australian”.
“Regardless of politics there was something about Peter Dutton’s comments yesterday that did not sit well with many Australians including myself and [sports presenter] Tim Gilbert,” Karl said.
Karl is of Serbian heritage and his family spent time in an refugee camp in Wollongong when they first came to Australia.
“My grandparents were the same they spent a year in an immigration camp in Wollongong,” he said.
“[My grandfather] got a job working the coal for BHP, stayed there for 30 years.
“They built a house with their own hands in Bellambi and built a life for their grandchildren to enjoy.”
He went on to say the country was built on “so many pillars including those who come from far away lands with not much more than hope and a drive for a better life for their families”.
Karl then brought the conversation around to his co-host, sports presenter Tim Gilbert, and his family.
“Timmy’s mother came here as a little girl from Lebanon with her parents just before the Second World War.
“A family with little English and little money. They got busy though working as hawkers, graduating to their own businesses, quickly picking up the lingo.
“They helped make this a better place. They helped make modern Australia.”
Clearly passionate about the issue, Karl called on Mr Dutton to apologise for his comments.
“In defending his comments yesterday, Mr Dutton appears to have cherrypicked statistics which don’t reflect the findings of his own department.
“It’s a cliche but what Peter Dutton said yesterday was un-Australian.
“Given his time again he may have chosen a different way to articulate it.
“But what’s done is done and I think he needs to apologise.
“Not only for those arriving now but for those who have come and now gone, giving their blood, sweat and tears and have handed down their values to the next generations who are many of our leaders today.”
The segment received a mix response from viewers with some applauding Karl for calling out the Minster and others taking to social media to call it “a load on crap”.
Since Mr Dutton made his comments, data has arisen which shows his comments were in fact incorrect and that most refugees who come to Australia are literate and numerate in their own language.
Statistics show that 17 per cent of males and 23 per cent of females are illiterate and innumerate, while the rest – over three quarters of them – can read and write just fine.
The complicated topic has many other factors though that are making some people weary about accepting refugees into the country.
Although much of Australia was built by refugees who came to the country last century, many people are shying away from welcoming anymore.
The nation seems to be split down the middle between those who support refugees coming into the country and those who don’t.