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MA Advocates: Trump's "Anti-Immigrant" Rhetoric Targets Latinos, Mexicans

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Immigrant-rights advocates held a vigil at the State House on Wednesday night to call attention to hate speech. Courtesy Centro Presente
Immigrant-rights advocates held a vigil at the State House on Wednesday night to call attention to hate speech. Courtesy Centro Presente
August 28, 2015

BOSTON - Immigrant advocates held a vigil at the State House this week to call attention to anti-immigrant hate speech. They say the actions of GOP front-runner Donald Trump added fuel to the fire.

Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, said they already had planned Wednesday night's vigil at the State House when Trump ejected Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos from a news conference. She said that move shined a spotlight on a pattern in Trump's anti-immigrant talk and actions.

"It means a lot because I think his remarks against immigrants are actually against Latinos," she said. "He has been very specific against Latinos, against Mexicans."

Journalist Ramos holds dual citizenship from both the United States and Mexico. Trump eventually allowed him back into the news conference, but defended his decision to have him ejected, because he says Ramos was "acting like a madman."

Montes said their vigil was held to demand that people of conscience hold candidates such as Trump responsible for dangerous and hateful rhetoric which they say emboldened two men with violent histories to brutally beat a homeless man in Boston.

"The case that happened a week ago in Boston, in our opinion, is the result of all of this hate and anti-immigrant rhetoric that he had been saying," she said, "particularly against Latinos in the United States."

Montes also was critical of the mainstream media, which she said gave far more attention to the fatal shooting of a San Francisco woman in July by an undocumented immigrant with a criminal record. When the media focus on cases where immigrants are assailants rather than the victims, Montes said, it tends to generalize, criminalize and penalize the entire undocumented population of the United States.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA