On Friday's broadcast of HBO's Real Time, the panel talked about multiculturism in America, assimilation, and the idea of the melting pot for people emigrating to the country.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria criticized the left for believing in a kind of multiculturalism where all cultures are equal. Zakaria also hit the left for their "absolutist" position on immigration and not acknowledging the consequences to working citizens.
"There has been a lot of Illegal immigration into the country. There's no question. Those illegal immigrants do depress the wages of working men and women in the United States who are citizens. I mean it just stands to reason that that's happening," Zakaria said.
"Secondly, there's been a lot of legal immigration," the CNNer said. "In 1970, the number of foreign-borns in the United States was about 4.5% percent, it's now about 14%. So it's a big shift to take in and digest."
"Worthy of a debate," host Bill Maher said.
"Worthy of a debate, and worthy of talking about, 'How would you assimilate better? What are the issues?' Zakaria said. "Democrats, I think, partly because they decided that they were going to chase this idea of the great Hispanic majority that is emerging, decided to become completely absolutist on it. And I think they are missing the point on it. There are a lot of Americans who are ready to listen to Democrats on the economic message. All the data shows this. But they think the Democrats don't get them on some of these cultural issues. This would be a perfect one to have some kind of a reasonable open debate to talk about more assimilation."
"I'm not sure I get it and I do read the paper. But, yes, I understand why people who don't even read the paper look at the Democrats on this issue and just think that their policy is 'come one, come all.' That they live in this cult of celebrating diversity," Maher said.
"If we ask questions about Muslim immigration -- we would like it to be people like Dr. [Richard] Dawkins and myself not to be just looked upon as it has to just be a racist reason for that. First of all, it's not a race, it's a religion. But we're talking about those shared values," Maher said.
"Part of what has happened is on the left is a kind of multiculturalism that says everything is equal, all these other cultures are equal," Zakaria said. "And, look, I can say as an immigrant, if I wanted to maintain Indian culture I could've stayed in India. The reason I came to America is because I admired American principles."
"One of the first things I said on my old show (ABC's Politically Incorrect) is if you're going to come to the melting pot, melt a little bit. You've got to melt a little," Maher said.
"You can't take a driver's license photo in a burqa. We have to see your face," the host added.