RNC 2020

Puerto Ricans Push Back on Kimberly Guilfoyle's ‘First-Generation American' Remarks

"After 1940, Congress declared that anyone born in Puerto Rico is born in the United States, so for her to claim that she is the daughter of immigrants is really tricky," Charles Venator-Santiago, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut and coordinator of the Puerto Rico Citizenship Archives Project, told NBC News

Kimberly Guilfoyle speaks as she tapes her speech for the first day of the Republican National Convention from the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Puerto Ricans are pushing back against misleading remarks from Kimberly Guilfoyle, the national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, during her speech at the Republican National Convention Monday night, NBC News reported.

Guilfoyle, a former California prosecutor and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., showed her support for President Donald Trump's re-election as "a Latina and proud American," she said. Her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father from Ireland.

"As a first generation American, I know how dangerous their socialist agenda is," said Guilfoyle, referring to Democratic opponent Joe Biden and his vice presidential pick, Kamala Harris. "My mother, Mercedes, was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream. Now, I consider it my duty to fight to protect that dream."

Her remarks sparked a loud social media backlash led by people reminding Guilfoyle that Puerto Ricans are not immigrants because they are born U.S. citizens.

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, a political scientist and the director of public policy at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, told NBC News there is a "cultural transition" in crossing into the U.S. mainland that can be an experience "similar to that of an immigrant," but it doesn't make Puerto Ricans immigrants.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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