Catalina Lauf, a 26-year-old former Trump administration official who just announced a congressional bid in Illinois, says many Hispanic Americans agree with President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the southern border.
“The racism talk has got to end,” Lauf told Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney on Tuesday.
“Because we want safe and secure borders and because there should be a process and we should promote legal immigration, how is that illogical to ask?” she said.
“My mother, my family came here in a way that was respecting the laws and I think a lot of Hispanic Americans agree, who have also respected the laws,” Lauf said.
Over the weekend, the candidate stated flatly on “Fox & Friends” that Trump is “not a racist.”
“People like my mom and my grandmother and many other Hispanic-Americans who have come here legally feel so insulted by that, because they did it the right way,” Lauf said.
“And there’s a process for it. And you should be a law-abiding citizen. President Trump is doing his best to protect this country, and we should be enforcing immigration laws.”
The Illinoisan’s mother and grandmother came to the United States in the 1980s from Guatemala, which was in the midst of a civil war, according to Lauf’s campaign website. Her father is a small-business owner from the Chicago area.
Lauf, who worked as an adviser in Trump’s Commerce Department, is running to represent the 14th Congressional District, which borders The Windy City.
The seat switched hands from four-term Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren to Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood in 2018, with a 5 percent margin of victory.
The Cook Political Report rates the 14th District seat a toss-up going into 2020.
Underwood has been a fierce critic of Trump’s immigration policies, even linking the deaths of five migrant children to the “intentional” acts of the administration.
Latina Republican Catalina Lauf on opponent Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) falsely claiming Trump is intentionally killing kids:
“It is disgusting the way that the far-left chose our men and women in uniform to be these vile characters. They’re human and they’re doing their job” pic.twitter.com/AqDeYmFdzN
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 24, 2019
Lauf responded to Lauren’s allegation on “Fox & Friends” last week, saying, “It is disgusting the way that the far left chose our men and women in uniform to be these vile characters. They’re human and they’re doing their job.”
Asked on Tuesday if she is the “anti-AOC” as she is being branded, Lauf replied, “I’m not anti-anyone, I’m pro-America, and if there’s contrast there, it’s that I’m fiercely driven by a love for my country.”
She added, “I’m not driven by a hate for everything it stands for like somebody like AOC and the rest of her friends on the other side.”
If Lauf prevails next year — first in the GOP primary and then in the general election — she would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, surpassing the benchmark set by Ocasio-Cortez herself in 2018.
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