A US citizen who was arrested for protesting a Donald Trump presidential event in Arizona claims she was turned over by local officials to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of her Latina last name.
Jacinta Gonzalez explained over the weekend what happened to her and two other activists as they tried to shut down roads outside the GOP frontrunner’s rally in Fountain Hills, Ariz. on Saturday.
“I know that the two colleagues I was arrested with were released,” she said in a video posted online Sunday, “but because my last name is ‘Gonzalez,’ I was immediately questioned by ICE and placed in a detainer.” Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies had detained the group for blocking traffic.
Gonzalez, the field director for the advocacy group Mijente, said the ordeal proves that the “hatred and the profiling that Trump says and tries to promote is the same that exists” already.
“The Trump effect isn’t just about a candidate,” said the groups’s executive director Carlos Garcia, responding to the detainment. “Trump’s ugly rhetoric is being turned into policy proposals as we speak that threaten the wholeness of our families and the safety of our communities.”
The group referenced a 2010 bill passed by the Arizona state legislature and signed into law by former Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.). The legislation allowed authorities to profile individuals and inquire about their immigration status. The “papers, please” law, as it became known, was later mostly struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.
“In Arizona we’ve heard Trump’s hate before and we know where it gets us,” Garcia added, stating that “all people of conscience have to unite to stop it.”
The businessman’s rallies have come under intense scrutiny after several weeks of violent incidents that have led to attendees being injured and arrested. At an event in Tucson on Saturday, a protestor being escorted out of the arena was sucker-punched and kicked by a Trump supporter who was promptly arrested.
At the very same rally, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was caught on video roughing up a young protestor by grabbing his shirt collar. Although the campaign initially denied it was Lewandowski, Trump defended his right hand man’s actions in an interview on Sunday.
“I give him credit for having spirit,” Trump said, claiming Lewandowski was simply trying to take down “profanity-laced signs.”
Two weeks ago, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of grabbing her arm and nearly yanking her to the ground as she tried to question the candidate. Despite corroboration of the incident by another reporter who recorded audio of it, the Trump campaign denied it ever happened. Fields has pressed charges against Lewandowski.
Arizona is slated to hold its primary on Tuesday.