Things That Matter

A Protester Demanded Elizabeth Warren Commit To Legalizing All Undocumented Immigrants On Day One

Just one day after Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announced her plan for immigration reform, a protester interrupted her to demand a commitment to legalizing “all 11 million undocumented immigrants” on “Day One” of her presidency. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was talking about mass incarceration when an activist group redirected her attention to the humanitarian crisis catalyzed by American immigration laws.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

Warren was answering a question about her plan to end mass incarceration at the Netroots Nation conference when an activist group unrolled a massive sign that read “Legalize 11 Million. Reunify All Families. #DignityNotDeportation.” Then, a protester stood on her chair and shouted, “Will you commit to the immediate legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and the reunification of their families under the Obama administration and the Trump administration?”

“So I want to talk about undocumented immigrants,” Warren responded.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

She launched into a soundbite that offers hope but not the commitment the activist was searching for. “I would like to talk about an overhaul of our immigration system because that’s what we need,” she said. “It starts with the premise that immigration is good for this country. It makes us stronger. It makes our economy stronger, and it ties us to families all around the world.”

By the time the activist was escorted out of the room, Warren had offered a three-part plan.

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“The first part, it starts with, is we need to expand legal immigration in this country. We’ve had families held apart for far too long, and that’s not who we are… Part Two: We need a path, and I will build, a path to citizenship, not just for dreamers, but for families. A path of citizenship that is both fair and attainable. It’s about workers. It’s about people who have been here for a long time, who have become integrated into our society. Part Three is I will stop this ugly mess at our borders. No great nation tears families apart. No great nation locks up children. We must, at the border, respect the dignity of every human being that comes here.”

The activist continued to shout during her answer demanding true commitment to legalize the presence of 11 million undocumented immigrants on Day One.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

By that point, a security officer was standing close to the activist, asking her to let Warren respond. He escorted her out of the room. Once outside, he told her that she should have let Warren respond. She said, “I gave her the opportunity to speak. I don’t need to talk to you. I need to talk to her and for her to commit as the future President of the United States.”

The activist is tired of hearing empty promises. She wants commitment.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

A reporter followed up with her outside the forum. “We need the immediate legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and the reunification of the families that were separated under the Obama and Trump era,” she told the reporter. “We need that commitment on Day One. We can’t keep saying that we’re going to fix the immigration system without commitment on Day One. This is something that she can do, that any presidential candidate can do, and we need commitment on Day One.”

The protest was organized by the non-profit organization Movimiento Cosecha.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

The organization is led by immigrants, for immigrants. In their Dignity 2020 plan, they list the three demands required by a presidential candidate to gain their endorsement. They need a presidential candidate to commit to: 

  1. “An end to all detention and deportation on your first day in office”
  2. “Immediate legalization for all 11 million undocumented immigrants”
  3. “Family reunification for everyone separated by detention and deportation”

The incident incited both racists and supporters online.

Credit: @mpsmissouri / Twitter

Of course, the majority of responders are MAGA folks degrading the brown body that spoke up and both her and Warren’s intelligence. On the other hand, folks without the privilege of citizenship are disappointed in her existing plan. It does provide a pathway to citizenship and offers more resources by the way of an independent immigration court system, but there are some elements that don’t feel quite right. Que te piensas?

Watch the full interaction below!

READ: What You Need To Know About Elizabeth Warren And Her Newly Unveiled Immigration Plan

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