Ed Martin: Kamala Harris’ visit to Latin America… a lot of coverage of her goofy comment when she was asked about going to the border. She said she hasn’t been to Europe either. Do you have a sense of her credibility in Latin America?
Bensman: I think she comes across as typical Yankee gringo who is providing messaging at cross purposes. So like all through the campaign when she was running for the Democratic nomination, she spoke nonstop about how open she would throw the gates at the border. How much she wanted illegal immigration. How much reward she would provide anybody who comes over. Sanctuary cities. Free health care. And now she’s trying to tell aspiring illegal immigrants, ‘Don’t come, we don’t want you to come, we’ll turn you back if you come.’ And I think that just destroys her credibility on its face. You know, people down in Latin America… they listen to the things that powerful politicians say in America, people who are actually in office, and they pay attention. They are not stupid. And there’s Spanish-language media that is constantly attuned and reporting on what those people say. And I just think that that alone wrecks her credibility. She’s a phony. She’s down there on fraudulent pretenses saying stuff that she doesn’t believe.
Martin: Kamala Harris is down on the border saying, ‘don’t come, don’t come.’ And so, everybody’s coming, right?
Bensman: Well, actions speak louder than words – always – at the border. People’s decisions to make a run on the border have nothing to do whatsoever with billboards that somebody puts up – you know, don’t come – or pronouncements of we’ll turn you back. All of that matters are the selfies that successful border crossers take of themselves. And texts of ‘We’re over.’ Emails of ‘We made it.’ That’s all that matters. So, the reality is what’s happening in action down there, not the words, ‘we’re going to turn you back.’ Nobody believes it; everybody knows it’s a game
Martin: Could you forward five social media posts from the last couple of days where they’re saying, ‘we made it, we’re over the line?’ I mean, you sound like you said you could.
Bensman: Oh yeah, yeah. The short answer is yes, I could find that. But remember, I spend a lot of time with the immigrants on the ground, both before they come over and after they come over, and we always talk about, ‘what are you saying to the people back home?’ That’s where I’m getting that. They’re telling me that ‘we are in constant touch with the people who just crossed. They’re texting us photos.’ I’ve never met a migrant who didn’t have a modern cell phone or a smart phone. And they all communicate. They’re plugged into social media. It’s a live intelligence grapevine. And so they may hear Kamala Harris say, ‘we’ll turn you back,’ but all their friends are texting them selfies showing they’re making it and getting released.