MIAMI, FL (WFLA) – The protesters who interrupted Jeb Bush’s presidential announcement with bright yellow T-shirts and a message on immigration aren’t finished with the campaign season.
“They should expect us,” Julio Calderon said about anyone running for president who doesn’t support immigration reform.
Calderon, who says he is undocumented and took part in the protest last week, identified Democrat Hillary Clinton as a candidate he would like to talk to about immigration issues.
The protest was organized by the Florida Immigrant Coalition, an organization affiliated with groups around the state and headquartered in a busy office on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.
“We wanted to see what was Jeb Bush’s stance on immigration,” said Florida Immigrant Coalition communications manager Natalia Jaramillo, who said messages from the former Florida governor have been mixed.
The group, whose members wore T-shirts spelling out “Legal status is not enough,” is pushing for a pathway to citizenship for those already in the country, a controversial concept on the campaign trail.
Their actions at Bush’s event in Miami last Monday prompted him to go off script, responding from the podium:
“Just so our friends know the next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform so that will be solved – not by executive order!” Bush ad-libbed.
Calderon said he and others met hours before the event and tried to blend in with the crowd, holding “Jeb!” signs and cheering along with the audience.
The moment almost didn’t happen. Calderon said they had planned to stand when Bush said the word immigration, but when it became clear he was not going to address the issue in his speech, someone made the call to stand and show off their T-shirt message.