Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera said the immigration crisis surrounding a Central American caravan traveling to Mexico was “manufactured.”
Rivera sparred with host Sean Hannity on Thursday after saying he thought reports of the caravan had caused an overreaction.
“I think this immigrant crisis is manufactured,” Rivera said. “I think it’s an overreaction to the so-called caravan of 1,000 that is now broken up in the southern city around Puebla. … They are seeking asylum.”
Hannity insisted that migrants “crossed the border, the weak borders, and raped Americans.”
President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE made a similar claim earlier on Thursday, saying women emigrating from Central America to the U.S. are “raped at levels nobody’s ever seen before.
Rivera insisted with “absolute certainty” that illegal immigration was at a record low.
“Illegal immigration across the southern border is near 46-year lows,” Rivera said. “We did have a spike in March, probably having to do with the demand for agricultural workers here in the southwestern part of the country.”
"Isn’t one murder, isn't one rape enough?" Hannity asked.
Rivera said he did not deny there were crimes committed against “poor, vulnerable” people making the trek to the United States to flee poor economies and violence.
“They’re seeking a better life, just like our immigrant parents sought a better life here,” Rivera said.
The Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan has moved hundreds of people seeking political asylum in the U.S. or Mexico by foot, bus, truck or cargo train. Once they reach the city of Puebla, just south of Mexico City, most stay to schedule appointments with consulates to apply for asylum.
Organizers estimate that about 200 will not stop in Mexico but will try to make it to the U.S. border.
The caravan has been a hot topic for Trump this week who tweeted several times about the immigrants.
The president called for sending the National Guard to the border, although the Pentagon can provide few details about the plan.