Less than two weeks after the El Paso mass shooting in which the accused shooter targeted Mexicans after complaining of a “Hispanic invasion” of America, Fox News anchor Sandra Smith confronted a guest on Thursday for using similar rhetoric, telling him “people will take issue with you for calling it that.”
Appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, National Border Patrol Council vice president Art Del Cueto directly blamed critics of ICE and Border Patrol for recent attacks on ICE facilities.
“It’s disgusting to see something like that,” he said in reaction to video of last month’s incident at a Washington facility. “And I think it’s been triggered by way too many individuals that have had a platform to speak against the men and women that are trying to defend our nation’s borders, the law enforcement communities. That is where it comes from.”
Del Cueto, however, took issue with studies showing how conservatives' anti-immigration rhetoric echoed that of the shooter, claiming he and Fox News were just “talking about actual facts.”
“And the facts that we spoke about are simple,” the frequent Fox News guest declared. “When you have individuals in large quantities that enter another country by force or illegally, waving the flag of another country, that is an invasion. I stand by those words.”
“Hold on now,” Smith quickly interjected. “Obviously, we have to push back on comments like that. People will take issue with you calling it that. It is obviously a sensitive issue right now."
The Fox anchor went on to steer the conversation back towards the recent incidents at ICE buildings and what steps should be taken moving forward.
Smith’s pushback against Del Cueto comes just a day after Fox Nation host Todd Starnes not only doubled down on saying migrants are invading the United States but also likened immigrants to Nazis.
In the immediate aftermath of the El Paso shooting, meanwhile, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade defended the network’s repeated use of the term “invasion” to describe immigration, claiming it was not “anti-Hispanic” but was instead a “fact.”