An ally of Helen Aguirre Ferré defended the Republican Party's new Hispanic spokeswoman on Miami television Wednesday, asking a group of activists to drop their petition that Aguirre Ferré resign her post as chairwoman of the Miami Dade College board of trustees.
The activists, both undocumented immigrants with ties to the university, refused.
Aguirre Ferré, a former Jeb Bush adviser, is under pressure from immigration activists who argue she will be forced to defend presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump -- who says he wants to deport immigrants in the country illegally and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Marili Cancio, like Aguirre Ferré a Republican and MDC trustee, told Spanish-language América TeVé that Aguirre Ferré's position as the Republican National Committee's Hispanic communications director shouldn't preclude her from leading the trustees.
"Who better than her" to speak to GOP leaders about immigrants, Cancio said on A Fondo (In Depth). "She has an impeccable reputation when it comes to DREAMers," immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
But Maria Bilbao, of the Miami Dade College DREAMers, said on the same program that Aguirre Ferré didn't represent immigrants like her when she backed Republican Mitt Romney for president in 2012, "when he talked about self-deportation."
Student Roberto Benavides said he didn't know if Aguirre Ferré, in a paid position for the GOP, would side with immigrants or the party in future matters of policy.
"It's a paid position in which she doesn't have an opinion with the Republican Party -- other than promote the candidate," he said.
Cancio stressed Aguirre Ferré would also be speaking for other candidates who support giving DREAMers a path to U.S. citizenship.
"Attacking her is a grave error," she said.