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Marchers protest racial profiling, federal immigration agencies in Detroit

Protester Dan Murray
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Protester Dan Murray

Hundreds of people rallied against racial profiling and for immigration reform in southwest Detroit Saturday.

The marchers protested what they call the increasingly abusive tactics directed toward members of Detroit’s Latino and Arab communities.

Protesters singled out Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol. They say those federal agencies have created a climate of fear, especially in southwest Detroit’s immigrant communities.

Diana Rebolledo was born in Mexico but lived most of her life in Detroit. She hopes the march can lessen some of that fear.

“I hope that community gets empowered, and that they’re not afraid. If we’re together, I think we can do a lot more than if we’re just hiding in our houses.”

Anger toward those federal agencies has grown since March, when immigration agents staked out a southwest Detroit elementary school.

ICE denies they took any “enforcement action” at the school.

Dan Murray, who is of Mexican and Irish heritage, attended the march to protest what he calls growing racial profiling because.

Murray says “you can’t judge people by what they look like.”

“My heritage is Mexican, but I’m American first. And everybody has a heritage. And people have been known to be stopped and questioned about their status, and they’re truly Americans. It’s almost like we’re going backwards in society.”

Murray marched on behalf of his deported son-in-law, an Albanian immigrant who he says was the victim of unscrupulous immigration attorneys. Murray says as a result, his son-in-law has never met his two-year-old daughter.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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