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IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Anti-Immigrant Activists Explain Why They Oppose Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, DC — Although Monday’s anti-immigration march in Washington, DC failed to draw the expected thousands of protesters, it did fuel the most passionate opponents of immigration reform who withstood the sweltering summer heat.

ThinkProgress was at the rally to interview activists, who uniformly derided the Senate’s immigration bill. Attendees voiced their distrust for undocumented immigrants, and independently equated them with criminals, rapists, and bank robbers. They also slammed the notion of granting legalization to undocumented youths brought to the country as children, who are colloquially known as DREAMers.

Rosanna Pulido, who held a sign that read “Latinos Against Amnesty,” stuck to the argument that immigrants take away American jobs. She also argued that DREAMers should be legally prosecuted because their parents should not have brought them to the country without papers.

Jarrod Pitts, the founder of a Black Panthers offshoot group Millenium Panthers, condemned DREAMers as accessories to a crime who are destined for trouble.

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“Your parents messed you up. You were born into trouble,” Pitts said. “It’s going to be a fight for your life…At this time, if their parents are sent back to their natural countries, the children should go too because they’re anchor babies. It’s a cold hard fact. If you did something illegally, you’re making your children an accessory to your crime.”  Sandra Lytle of both Americans for Prosperity and the Delaware Tea Patriots said, “I think we should have an amendment in the Constitution that if you come here illegal[ly] and you have babies here, they are illegal…I am not for them coming to America and taking away our rights here. We’re not going to do it.”

As for DREAMers, Lytle said, “Obama wants to pass this thing called [the] Dream Act, are you kidding me? You want to give them full ride scholarships to college and we’re struggling to pay our college bills with our kids, come’on.”

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Despite these impassioned pleas against immigration reform, national support for progressive immigration policies is high. Indeed, a majority of Americans support the path to citizenship decried at the rally.

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While the Tea Party and BALA jointly made efforts to recruit its activists by organizing buses across the nation, some attendees said that their buses were hardly full.