CNN commentator Ana Navarro criticized Hispanic activist Abraham Enriquez for defending Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' policies of relocating illegal immigrants to Democrat-led "sanctuary cities/states".
The New Day program welcomed Navarro and Enriquez as guests to discuss the illegal immigrant relocation initiatives - implemented by the governors of Florida and Texas - as a way to pressure the Biden Administration to recognize and stop the growing border crisis.
"You can be a Republican for convenience."
Enriquez began the debate by calling the actions of the Republican governors "voluntary transportation." Navarro, who calls herself a "Republican" began to lash out at Enriquez for his words and to severely criticize DeSantis:
I don't know how you, as a Mexican-American, I don't know how you can seriously say that what the governor was simply offering was transportation. You know very well it was much more than that, yes, he's trying to draw attention to the crisis at the border, and he's trying to do it through a political stunt...let's call it what it is, it's a political stunt. And please don't use your Hispanic last name to come here and try to justify this.
The activist continued the discussion alleging the reality of what is experienced at the border "I spend a lot of time there (at our southern border) and I invite you to come to our southern border where there is a lack of attention":
In fact, I spend a lot of time on our southern border and I invite you to come and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, our southern border is underserved. Our Border Patrol agents are overworked, there are no federal resources coming to our border. So, for us to be able to say that immigrants flying, who had no home, Ana, who had no food, who had no shelter, to a sanctuary state that has resources to spare, is bad, to me, that's complicit in what's going on. You can be a Republican out of conviction, or you can be a Republican out of convenience, and I chose to act out of conviction.
- Welcome (@bienvenido_us) September 22, 2022
"Being a Republican just to appear on TV."
After his controversial encounter with Ana Navarro, Enriquez said on Fox that there is a double standard in media coverage of the border and that many Hispanics use their voices pretending to be Republicans in order to "appear on television:
I think my biggest problem with the national media is that when it comes to Hispanic issues, their leaders or symbolic voices are these latino, C-list, social climbers like Ana Navarro, who claimed to be a Republican just so she could appear on television. And standing on the graves of dead immigrants just so they can attack real conservatives, real Republicans like Governor DeSantis.
Enriquez refuted the actions being taken against Governor DeSantis and took the opportunity to also comment that "we currently have a sitting president who refuses to even visit the border":
You and I know that, nowadays, being a conservative, being an American, means being convinced and denouncing things when they are not right. Progressive activists are very inconsistent. No one sued Barack Obama in 2008 when he was transporting immigrants across the country. No one sued Biden when he, in the middle of the night, was also transporting migrants across the country. Currently, we have a sitting president who refuses to recognize or even visit the border and his border czar who flat out lies to the American people and says our borders are secure.
The founder of the non-profit organization, Bienvenido, concluded his appearance on the program by reflecting on the gravity of what is happening at the border and holding President Joe Biden directly responsible for all the lives lost:
Each life which has been lost, every woman, every unaccompanied minor, who has been exploited by cartels or coyotes, every family member who has lost a loved one to an overdose of fentanyl from the drugs that are pouring in from our southern border, those lives are in the hands of Joe Biden and any legislator who refuses to stand up for their conviction and denounce the crisis we currently have on our border.