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#HateDebate: Hundreds Of Immigrant Youth And Allies Protest Outside GOP Debate In Houston

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In Houston, hundreds of immigrant youth and their allies protested outside the University of Houston last night, where leading Republican candidates for President gathered for their latest debate.

Earlier in the day, the activists had already unfurled a large banner over an overpass calling out candidates, like Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, for their anti-immigrant positions, and leaders wanted to let the candidates know their hateful rhetoric was not welcome on their campus or in their community.

“I will not and cannot ignore the dangerous environment these GOP candidates have created for immigrants, Muslims, women, disabled Americans, and people of color,” wrote Karla Perez, an undocumented leader in Houston, in a new Medium piece yesterday.

“I cannot ignore the fact that tonight, at my home away from home, candidates will probably speak about mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and eliminating DACA. These candidates are talking about me, my immigrant family and my community.”

Hundreds more joined Perez in protesting the bigoted rhetoric from Republicans, marching ahead of the debate to the University of Houston:

María Treviño-Rodríguez, took part in the protest. The 21-year-old Mexican native who held a homemade sign that read, “Dreamers stand against hate.” Treviño-Rodríguez is an undocumented student studying political science at the University of Houston. She is currently benefiting from DACA, president Obama’s immigration policy that protects undocumented students from deportation. “I wanted to make it very clear that we are not afraid, and Houston will not tolerate disrespectful, racist, and xenophobic ideology.”