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Immigrant rights activists protest Marco Rubio in Minneapolis

By staff |
February 24, 2016
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Protest against Marco Rubio in Minneapolis
Protest against Marco Rubio in Minneapolis (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - As Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio made a campaign appearance at the Hyatt hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Feb. 23, immigrant rights activists were there to protest his recent anti-immigrant statements. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC).

Rubio is now being more closely scrutinized as more of the Republican Party establishment rallies around him as a counter to the provocative and unpredictable Donald Trump. But as Rubio is forced to more fully elaborate his immigration policies, it is becoming clear that his policies are indistinguishable from Trump’s ‘deport them all’ approach.

On CNN on Feb. 18, Rubio said that he would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “on day one” of his presidency if he wins the election. DACA is the executive action that President Obama implemented in 2012, which has temporarily shielded hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth from deportation and allowed them to get temporary work permits and drivers licenses.

Protesters gathered outside the room where Rubio was slated to speak in the hotel. They confronted the candidate’s anti-immigrant statements, holding signs that said “Rubio wants to deport me,” “Hands off DACA,” and “No more deportations!” But then security guards forced them to leave the hotel, telling them, "We decide who can come to this private event and we don't want you here." As they were escorted out of the hotel, they continued to chant “Marco Rubio, shame on you! Immigrants are people too!” attracting the attention of bystanders and the media. The protest then continued outside the hotel.

It has not just been Marco Rubio, but all the Republican presidential candidates who have seemingly been trying to outdo each other in making increasingly provocative statements demonizing Mexican, Central American and South American immigrants. The most outrageous anti-immigrant statements have come from Republican front-runner Donald Trump. In his campaign launch, he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, and he routinely pledges to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants and further militarize the border wall, which is already one of the most militarized borders in world history. But the other candidates, including Rubio, have done their best to match Trump’s anti-immigrant statements and promises.

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