Protesters shouting “You deported three million people,” interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden’s closing remarks during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
RAICES Action, an immigrant rights group, took credit for the protest in a Twitter post that referenced the Obama administration’s deportation record.
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The demonstrators also shouted “No kids in cages!” and “Don’t look away!” before they were removed from the theater, Vox reported.
“We disrupted the Democrat debate tonight because candidates have consistently refused to address the immigration crisis, and it’s simply not good enough,” the group said in a statement, according to The New York Times.
“We understand not everyone will agree with this form of protest, but we do this as a last resort: Thousands are locked in detention centers, over 60,000 who came here for asylum were sent back to Mexico under MPP, and they’re gutting over refugee programs. This is a humanitarian crisis.”
The group was among several organizations that wrote an open letter to the candidates before the debate, arguing the debates are ignoring the issue of immigration, The Times reported.
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For the first time last week, Biden said it was a “big mistake” to deport more than a million people without criminal records.
“We took far too long to get it right,” the former vice president said in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
Immigrants’ rights protesters have interrupted Biden and other candidates at previous debates as well, The Times reported.