Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush cut a Nevada rally short yesterday after facing sharp criticism from immigration and Black Lives Matter activists, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
It began when Bush was responding to a question about family reunification from an audience member:
Richard Carreon, 35, of Las Vegas, told the candidate that as a young child he immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines with his family. His adult sister was separated from the family for a decade because of delays in the family reunification system, he said.
Bush responded that he supported family reunification for spouses and minor children, but thought the nation’s policy of including adult siblings and adult parents was too broad.
“Not gonna happen,” Bush tersely replied when the audience member pressed about inclusion for adult family members.
“I was very disappointed,” said Carreon, a retired member of the military and registered Republican.
American Bridge captured the interaction in a video:
According to the Times, Bush was booed when he said he supported legal status but not citizenship for the majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the US, a major backtrack from the pro-citizenship view he held just a few years ago up until he decided to run for President:
At the town hall, Bush also faced questions on immigration policy, and was booed when he said he favored a pathway to legality but not to citizenship for those who are in the country illegally, with the exception of people who were brought to the U.S. as children.
The town hall ended when activists from Black Lives Matter, a movement sparked by the shooting deaths of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement, “clashed with the presidential candidate’s supporters after he faced a series of challenging questions”:
Bush, responding to a woman’s query about the disproportionate number of minorities killed by police and their treatment in the criminal justice system, said there was no question that racism still existed in the United States and that leaders needed to engage in communities that felt disenfranchised. He then turned to his education record as Florida’s governor, saying that achievement scores among minority youths rose during his tenure.
“I have a record of empowering people in communities that” were told “they had no chance,” Bush said, ending the town hall. He did not deliver a closing statement, as he typically does, and quickly made his way to an exit, greeting supporters along the way.
According to the Times, the activists — many of whom also stood in solidarity with the immigration supporters — began chanting “Black Lives Matter!” as Bush was leaving the room.
In response, some Bush supporters “turned toward them and chanted, “All Lives Matter!” and “White Lives Matter!” and at least two audience members “stood a few feet from the candidate with their middle fingers extended in each other’s faces.” A portion of the protest was captured in a video below: