Tucker Carlson vs. Univision Anchor: Is Tijuana Protest Against Migrant Caravan Racist?


Residents of Tijuana are protesting the arrival of migrants from the "caravan," is their protest racist? FNC's Tucker Carlson debates Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Enrique -- Enrique Acevedo is an Anchor at Univision. He was just in Tijuana. He joins us tonight from Miami, Florida. Enrique, thanks a lot for coming on.


CARLSON: I'm confused. We just saw a group of Mexican citizens in Tijuana saying basically the same things that President Trump says almost to the word, endorsing Trump. Are they White supremacists?

ACEVEDO: Well, you have to understand that unlike human beings, intolerance, hate, and even racism flow freely across borders. And that's what you saw in those interviews. They're not running for president. They're not running for President of the United States either.

They are part of a group of around 300 protesters in a city of 1.3 million who, like many others along the way this Caravan, are opposed to -- to their presence in -- in Tijuana. And, you know, the overwhelming majority of people in Tijuana welcome immigrants. It's a city of immigrants--

CARLSON: Wait but --- wait but -- can I -- I'm sorry to interrupt but can I just back up a little bit--

ACEVEDO: --it was made by immigrants, as you know because you grew up in San Diego across the border.

CARLSON: --no it's -- it's a bit city, for sure. But can I suggest that (ph)--


CARLSON: --hold on. You just said that they're racist but they're Latino, Spanish-speaking Latinos, attacking other Spanish-speaking Latinos. So where's the racism?

ACEVEDO: Well, we're not a monolithic community, Tucker. We have people from Central America, from Venezuela, from Colombia, different backgrounds, different ethnicities. And yes, racism exists in Mexico towards Central Americans. It's not new. It's happened through, you know, throughout history--

CARLSON: But how is it -- but I'm confused. How is it racist? Wait, but hold on--

ACEVEDO: --I know with that (ph). It's part of what this migrants face when they--

CARLSON: --how is this--

ACEVEDO: --go across Mexico, violence, extortion--


ACEVEDO: --and racism.

CARLSON: No, OK, but I'm not quite sure how it's racism if they appear to be of the same race. But moreover, they said, and I think I'm quoting one of the protesters, it's not about racism.

This is almost exactly what he said. We want our government to enforce our borders, which is what a lot of people, including me, say frequently in the United States. Maybe, has it occurred to you, maybe it's not just racism? Maybe it's OK to want your government to keep your border intact?




ACEVEDO: I think we should stop framing this debate about immigration in absolutes good, bad, enforcing, not enforcing the -- the border, as you saw there and, as you can see, is enforced.

There's border security through Border Patrol, through military, you know, members, and through things like drones and ATVs and high-tech surveillance equipment. So, we're enforcing the border. We're just getting ready--

CARLSON: So -- so how did all -- wait, but how did all the Hondurans--

ACEVEDO: --for these large teams of (ph) immigrants--

CARLSON: --get -- wait (ph)--

ACEVEDO: --which is not a crisis or an invasion--


ACEVEDO: --it's just a -- a, you know--

CARLSON: OK. No, I know what the talking points--

ACEVEDO: --a large group of immigrants wanting to--

CARLSON: --no, I know what -- I know what the talking points are.

ACEVEDO: --to -- claim asylum.

CARLSON: What's so interesting about these interviews is that they seem to contradict the talking points. So, to the people of Tijuana, we could both agree they're probably not White supremacists. I -- I think we can take that as a matter of faith.

They seem to think this is a crisis. It's their city. And, by the way, their Mayor agrees with them. I assume he's not a racist, either, or maybe he is. Do you think they have any--

ACEVEDO: Actually I -- I interviewed the Mayor--

CARLSON: --real concern?

ACEVEDO: --last week and he--

CARLSON: Is he (ph) a racist too?

ACEVEDO: --rolled (ph) back some of those statements. He said that all immigrants are welcome in Tijuana and that he didn't mean any discrimination or harm to the people who were part of the Caravan. So, you know, in putting those--

CARLSON: Well I'm sure you bullied him, as--

ACEVEDO: --statements in context he was--

CARLSON: --as most politically correct media figures do. But before -- before we get to him retracting his statements under pressure from Univision, can we just address the core question, which is do you think he has any legitimate complaint? Does anybody who's city is overwhelmed by--

ACEVEDO: Of course.

CARLSON: --people from another country--

ACEVEDO: No, no and this--

CARLSON: --have any legitimate complaint at all--

ACEVEDO: Exactly.

CARLSON: --as it always been history (ph).

ACEVEDO: I -- I was just complaining that we framed the debate on immigration on absolutes. Of course, he has a point. You know, the city is overwhelmed by the presence of these migrants and governments--


ACEVEDO: --you know, all the governments involved should understand this is a humanitarian crisis and start acting like it, instead of just having these security measures at the border.

You know, again, I've said this a 1,000 times. We can spend a little more in the countries where these people are coming from and make a huge difference at the border or we can -- we can keep spending billions of taxpayers' dollars at the border--

CARLSON: Oh, so you figured out, wait, hold on--

ACEVEDO: --without making any sort of (ph) difference in the countries--

CARLSON: --so you figured out--

ACEVEDO: --where these people are coming from.

CARLSON: --you figure -- I'll -- I'll actually give -- give you airtime. We're live right now. You figured out how to fix Honduras and make it such a thriving country that no one wants to leave to raise GDP to American levels. How would you do it? Just really quick, how would you do that?

ACEVEDO: No, it's -- I'm -- I'm not coming up with a new idea. We've done this before--

CARLSON: Oh, OK. I didn't think so.

ACEVEDO: --with USAID and it's worked (ph). We just need more resources--

CARLSON: No, it -- it hasn't worked, actually.

ACEVEDO: --focused on instead (ph) at the border.

CARLSON: It -- it's been a miserable failure.

ACEVEDO: Instead of spending a $100 billion over the past decade on border security, we could have used some of that money on programs that USAID has said--

CARLSON: So, which -- which program, hold on -- which program, hold on--

ACEVEDO: --it's been (ph) working. They're reducing violence (ph), the murder rate--

CARLSON: --I know -- I know what the talking point is.

ACEVEDO: --in the border towns where the migrants are coming from.

CARLSON: Let's get specific. I'm giving you a chance live on TV.


CARLSON: Which program specifically would have made the economy of Honduras so strong that no one would want to leave and come to the United States?

ACEVEDO: So USAID, for example, is working on two of the communities with the highest murder rate in Honduras. Throughout the last two or three years, with this program, they've been able to reduce violence there and, therefore, reduce the amount of people who were leaving that town. These are only two--

CARLSON: So, why do we have a--

ACEVEDO: --examples--

CARLSON: --Caravan of Hondurans coming if the USAID program worked so well?

ACEVEDO: Well because violence is not the only factor. We have other factors, poverty (ph)--

CARLSON: So but I'm just saying what's the pro -- because I -- I hear that a lot from dump people on--


CARLSON: --I think Don Lemon said that at on CNN, we should spend more money in these countries. Has there ever been a program that has changed a country in the third-world--


CARLSON: --they made it so appealing that no one wanted to come to the United States. I--

ACEVEDO: I mean--

CARLSON: --I don't think there is a program like that, is there?

ACEVEDO: --but again, absolutes, no one. It's impossible to just have a program for -- for everyone. Violence is a factor. Poverty is a factor.


ACEVEDO: Even climate now is becoming a factor. We saw a crew from the Weather Channel with the Caravan. They were, you know, tracking the -- the journey of a group of immigrants from Honduras where 90 percent of crops have collapsed.


ACEVEDO: John Carlos Frey, their correspondent, was telling me how the U.N. has declared (ph) Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala--


ACEVEDO: --region with famine. So--

CARLSON: But -- but what about the people--

ACEVEDO: --so, you know, there are different factors.

CARLSON: --look, I feel sorry for the people in the Caravan. And I -- and I understand why they want to come to the United States. I love this country. I appreciate their good taste in--

ACEVEDO: We all do.

CARLSON: --countries. But what about the people--

ACEVEDO: And -- and that's the great thing, Tucker.

CARLSON: --of -- but hold on, what about everybody else?

ACEVEDO: Maybe we should be worried not that people were coming--

CARLSON: Hold on--

ACEVEDO: --we should start worrying when people don't want to come to the
United States--

CARLSON: Right. Well that's going to happen soon--

ACEVEDO: --that's when we should start worrying.

CARLSON: --if we don't get a real border, so, because we'll be like Honduras, so, why would people want to move here? I mean honestly the -- honestly, my question is what about the people--


CARLSON: --who live in the United States or, in this case, who live in
Tijuana, do they have any legitimate reason not to want--

ACEVEDO: By all means.

CARLSON: --they do have legitimate reason?

ACEVEDO: By all means, of course, you understand that.


ACEVEDO: And we've discussed this in the past. Undocumented immigration is not a desirable outcome for any of the parties--

CARLSON: No, it's not. Well good--

ACEVEDO: --involved.

CARLSON: --I'm glad you're admitting that.

ACEVEDO: You know, these people leaving their homes and the people who--

CARLSON: That -- that's all I want.

ACEVEDO: --you know the countries (ph)--

CARLSON: You don't have to be a racist to be against illegal--

ACEVEDO: --go against these (ph) immigrants--

CARLSON: --migrants.

ACEVEDO: --well there are better ways more humane, compassionate and common-sense laws that we could have instead of what we're doing with family separation--

CARLSON: I don't really think it's our fault--

ACEVEDO: --border limitation (ph)--

CARLSON: --actually.

ACEVEDO: --and these measures that really don't make any difference.

CARLSON: Yes, I don't -- I'm not going to accept blame for the disaster that is Central America, sorry. Enrique, thank you, though. Appreciate it.

ACEVEDO: Thank you, Tucker.

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