dulce candy
Fashion blogger Dulce Candy asked a question to GOB candidates in the 7th Republican debate through a pre-recorded YouTube video. Some conservative pundits insinuated that her question would be unfair because she came to the U.S. without a visa when she was 6 years old. She is now a noted YouTube personality and a U.S. citizen. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

When Fox News featured a question from a Mexican immigrant YouTube star Dulce Candy Tejeda Ruiz in the 7th 2016 Republican debate, the right-wing internet exploded. “1994 Illegal Immigrant,” Breitbart headlined. “Illegal border-crosser!” tweeted Michelle Malkin of the Conservative Review. Dulce Candy, 28, who prefers to go by her first name, says on her YouTube channel that she crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally with her family in 1994. In a 23 minute video, she tells her life story including a short chronicle of her family’s crossing.

“We also crossed a river in the middle of the night. And I just remember that the waves were really really strong that night, and some guy would carry us on his shoulder to the other side. [...] Right after we got out of the river we started running because we actually say la migra ,” she says in the voice over.

Dulce Candy has since become a U.S. citizen, served in the military and attracted 2.6 million subscribers to her lifestyle-focused YouTube channel, elements of her bio that she injected in a preface to her question aired during the debate. Her questioned focused not on a particular immigration policy -- which was hotly debate in another segment -- but what candidates thought about immigrants from a small business perspective.

“There are many immigrants who contribute positively to the American economy, but some of the comments in the campaign make us question our place in this country,” Dulce Candy asked in her video. “If America does not seem like a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs, will the American economy suffer?”

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly directed the question to Ben Carson, who dodged the question by pivoting to national security concerns.

“I recognize that the vast majority of people coming in here probably are not [the kinds of people who want to destroy us], but that's not good enough,” he said If you've got 10 people coming to your house and you know one of them is a terrorist, you're probably going to keep them all out.

Jeb Bush, probably the most pro-business or centrist GOP candidate, interjected in support of Dulce Candy. He said that the U.S. should be a welcoming country, a comment that he didn’t couch will any ISIS fire and brimstone. He also called the video sharing service “ The YouTube,” which raised some eyebrows.

“And Dulce Candy -- a pretty cool name, actually -- that is now an entrepreneur of the YouTube is part of that American spirit, and we should celebrate it as conservatives. That's what we believe in.”

On Twitter, Dulce Candy’s appearance had supporters and detractors, most focused on her bio and not her actual question.

Against: Malkin.

For: communication strategist Frank Luntz.

“I felt like having that story to tell my son Isaac is going to be really -- I don’t know -- it’s just a nice thing, it’s not a nice thing for it to happen. But, id does make me the person I am today,” Dulce candy says in her video.

You can hear Dulce Candy’s border crossing story, along with the rest of her life story, in the video below.

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