Media, Immigration and Being a Latino in the Age of Trump

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Ana Navarro, a Latina, a CNN political commentator and a Republican, told an audience of Queens College students and faculty that what’s going on in the Republican Party “is called cannibalism. We are eating our own, and hopefully somebody chokes.”

Navarro said  it is “very rare to have someone that is completely unplugged, unfiltered and unmuzzled in the White House,” referring to President Trump and his attacks on on Sen. John McCain,  Judge Gonzalo Curiel for being Mexican, and on women and immigrants. However, it was when  she watched Trump mock a disabled reporter that she realized there was nothing he could do that would make him fit to be President.

Navarro has a severely disabled brother who was mocked by other children while growing up, but she said she had never before witnessed an adult doing such a thing and that’s why she could not defend Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

“He is the President of the Divided States of America, and he fans racial divisions, economic divisions and even those divisions within the Republican Party. He really is the only human being who can get me to have some level of sympathy for Jeff Sessions,” Navarro said.  

Navarro spoke at the college on Oct. 11, at an event hosted by the Office of Student Development and Leadership in celebration of Latino Heritage Month, and discussed  being a Latina amid the immigration crisis affecting thousands under the Trump administration.

Born in Nicaragua, Navarro moved to the United States with her parents in 1980. She grew up in Miami, graduated from the University of Miami, and later earned a law degree from St. Thomas University Law School.

Prior to making waves as an outspoken political correspondent on television, she worked for Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s administration in its office of immigration affairs. She also worked as a private sector attorney dealing with government and immigration issue, and worked on the re-election campaign for Senator Marco Rubio.

Navarro said she appreciates working at CNN because everything she says, whether people agree with it or not, is all her opinion. Although she has had many heated arguments with other Republicans, she said she tries to bring common sense into the discussion of important issues, such as gun control and immigration, and tries to build bridges between those who hold opposing opinions.  

One of the issues she has been most outspoken about is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,  a policy implemented under President Barack Obama, that gave undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a temporary amnesty from deportation and temporary work authorization. But now that the Trump Administration has announced that it plans to end the program within six months, as many as 800,000 young undocumented immigrants are at risk of being affected.

Asked what she believes it will take for the DREAM Act to finally pass, Navarro said, “I think it’s going to take an unending, unrelenting campaign pressure from all of us. We cannot give up. We cannot take it for granted. We have got to unite. We have got to mobilize. This is a six-month dash to the finish and we must get this done. “

Edem Ekpe, a junior and accounting major at Queens College and a registered Democrat, said he “enjoyed how outspoken she [Navarro]  was and how she herself knows that Trump is the master of distractions and what he’s doing is not cool. He’s on a mission to literally take everything that Obama did and that’s not something that a president should do.”

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