Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was interrupted Thursday by an immigration activist protesting her campaign’s acceptance of donations from corporations that run private prisons.
Mrs. Clinton was presenting the 2015 Medallion of Excellence Award to Spanish-American chef Jose Andres at the annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala in Washington when she was interrupted by Juan Carlos Ramos of the advocacy group United We Dream Action, BuzzFeed reported.
Mr. Ramos, 22, of Maryland, stood near the stage chanting “Hillary we’re watching. My deportation will be your funding,” and held a sign that read “Hillary for immigrants in prisons,” BuzzFeed reported.
Mrs. Clinton did not address the protester.
“Our message to Hillary Clinton is simple: Immigrant youth do not trust you,” Mr. Ramos, who was quickly removed from the event, said in an earlier statement. “It is time to drop the prison money and stand with our community — you can’t have it both ways.
“Each dollar of private prison money accepted by the Clinton campaign undermines her pro-immigrant policy promises, and our community will not be fooled,” he added.
Mrs. Clinton opened by saying the Republican presidential field doesn’t see the Latino community like she does. It’s “a problem when the leading Republican candidate says Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers,” she said, referring to Donald Trump, BuzzFeed reported.
“We need people who will stand up to this ugly rhetoric and extreme thinking. We will say with our words and our actions, ‘Basta, Enough, End This,’” Mrs. Clinton said.
United We Dream criticized the former secretary of state after she told Telemundo over the weekend that she would be less aggressive in deporting illegals than President Obama has been.
Mr. Ramos said immigration activists aren’t buying it.
“She’s saying, ‘this is how it’s going to be like when I’m president’ but she’s accepting money from people deporting our community, what does that say?” he told BuzzFeed.
Republicans issued a news release after Mrs. Clinton’s comments painting her as flip-flopping on immigration and other issues.
“Each time Hillary Clinton addresses a Latino audience she gives the same empty promises she won’t and can’t keep, just like President Obama,” Ruth Guerra, the Director of Hispanic Media at the Republican National Committee, said in a statement following the event, Politico reported. “Just this week Hillary flip-flopped on several issues including immigration and free trade, reinforcing that she will do or say anything to get elected.”