Julissa Arce, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs, joined Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel to discuss a popular opinion article she wrote for CNBC on Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Arce came to the United States illegally as a child, but she managed to work her way up to top positions on Wall Street.
Discussing Arce’s article, Carlson said during his show on Thursday, “I also found your characterization, frankly, of the president’s proposed border wall as ‘a symbol of hate’ as not an indication of gratitude . It suggests that you don’t think America has a right to protect its borders. And that seems a very odd attitude for someone who has benefited so much from your adopted country.”
“No, not at all,” Arce responded. “I don’t think that makes me ungrateful. I think that makes me a citizen of the country who also gets to have a voice. And my voice might be different than your voice, but we both get to voice our opinions.”
Carlson then explained that he supports Arce’s free-speech rights, but “he doesn’t understand” why a border wall is a “symbol of hate.”
“The point that I’m trying to make is that the wall is not the best way to protect our borders,” said Arce, who also admitted during the interview she worked using a fake Social Security number. “Listen, I live here. I want this country to be safe. My children are going to grow up in America as American citizens born here. … But building a wall that is going to cost, by the way, billions of dollars of American taxpayers, my tax dollars are going to go to build a wall that, at the end of the day, isn’t going to protect us—”
Carlson then interjected, saying he doesn’t buy that argument and that Arce isn’t answering his question about the wall supposedly being “a symbol of hate.”
“You’re saying the wall is too expensive, but you know that’s not actually what you said,” Carlson shot back. “You said it’s an ‘expression of hate,’ and I just want to get to the bottom of that. Why is it hateful to want to build a wall? A lot of Americans do. The majority, in some surveys. Why is that related to hate?”
“It is a hateful symbol,” Arce said. “It is a symbol of hate against immigrants. It is a symbol of hate against Mexican immigrants, which, you know, the president, Mr. Trump, ran his campaign on. So, I do still view the wall as a symbol of hate.”
“I just want to get the bottom of this, because you’re throwing around language that has an effect on people’s attitudes, and it’s pretty heavy duty, because it presumes motives that you can’t know,” Carlson said. “You don’t know that the people who support the wall hate Mexican immigrants. A lot of people who come across that border are not from Mexico, as you know, they are Central Americans. Is it legitimate, is it morally legitimate for an American to say I want control of who comes into my country, and we don’t have that, and so a wall would reestablish that control. To denounce that as hate seems a little much.”
“And I would absolutely welcome the conversation about how do we create a system by which people can come here legally, that will benefit Americans, that will increase tax revenue, that will increase economic activity,” Arce said. “So, we should have that conversation.”
“We’re having that conversation now,” Carlson said. “You’re not answering my question.”
Carlson then asked Arce again to explain why the wall is a symbol of hate, to which she responded, “As a Mexican immigrant, I can have an opinion that that wall, to me, symbolizes a symbol of hate,” Arce said.