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A Fox host railed about ‘some guy’s uncle’ immigrating to the US. So we poked around his family tree

Fox News host Jesse Watters, shown at a function in Nashville in April.Terry Wyatt/Getty Images/File

Monday, on the nightly harangue known as “The Five,” Fox News’s Jesse Watters characterized President Trump’s immigration policy this way: “[Trump] wants merit-based. That would cut legal immigration by bringing in the best and brightest. So we don’t bring in some guy’s uncle from Zimbabwe.”

Or some guy’s great-great-great-grandfather.

Watters, it turns out, is in the United States because his great-great-great-grandfather Michael Quinn fled the Great Famine in his native Ireland in 1852 and came to Boston. Broke and barely literate, Quinn soon after made his way to Western Mass., where he got a job on a farm in Longmeadow and started a family. But times were tough and he lost three small children to illness — including two to cholera in September 1865 — before dying of congestion in 1872, at the age of just 42.


Would Michael Quinn qualify as the “best and brightest” today? It’s hard to say, but if you’re interested to know more about the humble beginnings of a conservative talk show host who wants strict limits on immigration, Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, indulging his penchant for exhaustive research, did a little online sleuthing in his spare time and posted a very interesting Twitter thread.

(Click here if you can’t see the embedded tweets that follow.)