Conservative commentator and author Michelle Malkin will speak on campus at a Penn College Republicans event Monday night, in what will be one of her first public appearances after being accused of making anti-Semitic comments.
During a Sept. 9 interview on Fox and Friends, Malkin accused billionaire and major Democratic Party donor George Soros of funding pro-immigration groups that she claimed are undermining American sovereignty. Liberal-leaning news outlet Media Matters labeled Malkin's comments as anti-Semitic, comparing them to the conspiracy theories that sparked the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October 2018.
"Montgomery County and Baltimore County for years have been infested by Soros-funded groups," Malkin said in the interview, referencing two Maryland counties. "But they're also tax-exempt groups that we fund. And I think it's so key that people understand the billions of dollars that are being funneled of hard-earned, tax-paying American citizens' money to fund these illegal alien groups that turn around and sue us because they're not getting tax-subsidized abortions or employment benefits."
The shooter who killed 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue last year posted on Gab, a fringe social media platform, before the shooting that, "HIAS likes to bring invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in."
HIAS is a Jewish non-profit that helps refugees resettle in the United States.
Malkin, who has gained notoriety in recent years for her opposition to increased immigration, is speaking in front of College Republicans as part of her "Sanctuary Cities Tour." The tour is designed to draw attention to cities, such as Philadelphia, which do not comply with federal immigration law. During her hour-long guest lecture, Malkin is set to discuss U.S. immigration policy and her new book "Open Borders Inc.: Who's Funding America's Destruction?"
College Republicans spokesperson and Wharton sophomore Corey Paredes said Malkin's comments on Fox were not anti-Semitic, and said these allegations were "ridiculous personal smears" in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
"Instead of refuting the evidence and arguments presented in her book, some in the media have desperately sought to discredit her motives and intentionally misportray her," he said. "This reveals liberals’ fear of Ms. Malkin’s investigative reporting and their untenable stance on immigration policy.”
Paredes said the group invited Malkin to campus because of her career in investigative journalism.
"Michelle Malkin was invited to campus in recognition of her extraordinary work towards improving American government and maintaining the unique freedoms we enjoy in our nation," Paredes said. "As a first-generation American multi-bestselling author, we are proud to host her on campus as she discusses her latest release, and her career in investigative journalism."
Paredes maintained that Malkin's background as a daughter of immigrants from the Philippines grants her an important viewpoint on the issue of immigration.
"As a daughter of immigrants, Michelle Malkin understands the enormous value and dynamism that immigration brings to our nation," Paredes said. "Her unique background as a prominent Republican and political investigator has given her a unique perspective on how to ensure that our nation remains one in which immigrants can thrive and enjoy the fruits of American freedom. Ms. Malkin proposes that open-borders are not only harmful to our nation's stability, but most importantly are harmful to vulnerable individuals seeking to immigrate."
In recent months, several conservative commentators have come to Penn and met a significant backlash from groups opposed to their views.
In February, the UPenn Statesman, a conservative group on campus, invited conservative activist Heather Mac Donald to campus. Mac Donald, who has faced controversy for allegedly racist comments, was met with a protest by over 100 students.
In April, Penn Republicans and the Statesman invited conservative commentator Candace Owens to speak at Penn, prompting protests from both student groups and outside anti-fascist groups.