A conservative Hispanic activist told “The View” co-host Ana Navarro point blank that she is a “Republican by convenience” in a tense Thursday exchange on CNN’s “New Day.”
Abraham Enriquez, president of the conservative Hispanic organization Bienvenido, debated Navarro on Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to ship willing migrants to the upscale liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Navarro claimed that the Florida governor’s move was a “political stunt” and told Enriquez to stop being “cynical” after he defended DeSantis.
“I don’t know how you — as a Mexican-American — I don’t know how you can say with a straight face that what the governor was simply offering was transportation. Please don’t be so cynical,” Navarro said. “You know damn well that it was much more than that. Yes, he’s trying to bring attention to the crisis on the border, and he’s trying to do it through a political stunt … let’s call it what it is, it is a political stunt, and please don’t use your Hispanic last name to come on here and try to justify this as just offering transportation.”
“If they had been offering transportation, it didn’t need to go to a Republican donor, he didn’t need to pay more than three, four times the amount that it would have cost,” she continued. “He could’ve simply called the Office of Refugee Resettlement, there are actual organizations in the United States that do this and are funded to this without this type of thing. The one who wants the media attention is Ron DeSantis.”
Enriquez argued that the border is in crisis and said no federal resources are going toward easing the surge in migration that has overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. He then said that many of the migrants shipped to Martha’s Vineyard were homeless and living in dire conditions. (RELATED: POLL: 41% Of Hispanics Approve GOP Governors Sending Illegal Migrants To Liberal Cities)
“In order for us to say that flying migrants who were homeless, Ana, who had no food, who had no shelter to a city in a sanctuary state that has more than enough resources is bad, to me that is complicit to what’s going on,” he said. “And quite honestly Ana, you can be a Republican by conviction or you can be Republican by convenience, and I choose to act on conviction.”
Navarro laughed off his claims, arguing the migrants were tricked into boarding the planes. The DeSantis administration handed out brochures in English and Spanish to the migrants informing them of their destination and directing them to resources in the community.
Three Venezuelan migrants — known as Yanet Doe, Pablo Doe and Jesus Doe — along with the non-profit organization Alianza Americas filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against DeSantis, alleging the migrants were “manipulated” and stripped of their constitutional rights protected under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The migrants claim they were “lured” by people acting on behalf of the administration who offered them $10 McDonald’s gift cards and offered to pay for their private hotel rooms.
Some of the migrants were reportedly grateful that DeSantis sent them to the New England island, where they reportedly said they were “very well received.”
DeSantis and his office have repeatedly said that the migrants voluntarily traveled to the upper-class New England island.