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The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC), Immigrant Allies, and advocates will protest a Donald Trump rally in Iowa today, where beleaguered Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is expected to endorse the candidate for President.
Mr. Arpaio, who espouses some of the Republican Party’s most conservative views about undocumented immigrants, will appear with Mr. Trump in Marshalltown, a month after appearing with Mr. Trump in Arizona. Mr. Trump has made combating illegal immigration a staple of his candidacy, including a proposal to build a wall at the southern border.
“I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “We must restore law and order and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president.”
In a statement released by the campaign, Mr. Arapaio said: “Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families. I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration. and I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Arpaio — when he’s not busy violating court orders resulting from his racial-profiling lawsuit, or secretly investigating his numerous critics — infamously came to Trump’s defense after his racist accusations last June that immigrants from Mexico are “rapists” and criminals.
Now with the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses just days away, local Latino and immigrant rights groups in Marshalltown are responding to Trump and Arpaio’s joint appearance today with a voter mobilization and silent protest to counter the numerous physical and verbal attacks against Latinos, immigrants, and Muslims at the hands of Trump supporters.
“We want to turn his negativity into a positive for our community,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, National LULAC vice president of the Midwest. “We will peacefully protest his appearance with a voter registration drive and caucus training for our community to show them how they can become more engaged in the political process to stop people like Donald Trump from stepping foot into the White House.”
“We are encouraging people in Marshalltown to ‘spread the love’ in the next couple of days by posting welcoming messages about immigrants in response to the personal pain that the hateful rhetoric of Trump and his supporters has caused immigrants and members of the Latino community,” Joa LaVille, president of Immigrant Allies, said.
More information on the silent protest is available here, and we’ll update this blog as more on the day unfolds.