The founder of a San Diego nonprofit that helps immigrants and refugees landed a few arguably well-deserved punches during a recent interview with Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham.

Enrique Morones‘ five-minute interview on her show last week highlighted the divide between liberals and conservatives over immigration, President Trump’s cherished border wall and California’s sanctuary laws. And it showed how little serious debate there is on partisan cable news shows.

Morones founded the Border Angels in 1986 to fight for immigration reform and stop migrant deaths along the border. The group is best know for its life-saving water drops in remote mountain and desert areas.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, was also on the show, but barely got a word in as Ingraham and Morones traded barbs.

“I’m glad David Hogg let you back on the air,” said Morones at the beginning, referring to the outspoken Stoneman Douglas High School student who was taunted by Ingraham, leading to a boycott of her show by advertisers.

“I’m with the majority of Californians. We don’t want to have a wall,” Morones continued. “We support the sanctuary state situation…We realize that these undocumented people that are not criminals should not be turned over to ICE.”

Ingraham explained that the reason for the interview was to discuss the recent votes by a number of California political jurisdictions, including the Escondido City Council and San Diego County Board of Supervisors, to support the Trump Administration’s lawsuit against Senate Bill 54, which limits state cooperation with federal immigration officials.

“Enrique, you might not be aware of this concept that’s called facts,” said Ingraham.

“You’re at Fox; you’re not about facts,” replied Morones.

Exasperated with him, Ingraham turned to Cox, who got in several sentences.

“People are sick and tired of Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom’s ignorance of the law. They really believe that people want to have MS-13 living next door to them,” he said, referring to the notorious drug gang that Trump frequently mentions.

Morones said he didn’t know who Cox was, despite the newcomer to California politics’ rising poll numbers and a column by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggesting Cox could become governor.

Finally Ingraham cut off Morones, saying “you’ve been so incredibly rude and nasty,” and then informed Fox viewers that he is an example of a “rabid, pro-illegal immigration activist.” Cox attempted to speak, but Ingraham continued to react to Morones, accusing him of trying to “demonize” opponents of immigration.

Not much light was shed on the complex issue of immigration, but in the hyper-partisan, entertainment-focused world of cable news, that probably wasn’t the point.

Chris Jennewein is editor and publisher of Times of San Diego.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.