Anti-Illegal-Immigration Protests Continue
What started as a one-sided protest eventually escalated into a battle between anti and pro mmigrant demonstrators.
As part of the two-day National Protest Against Illegal Immigration, anti-illegal-immigrant protesters took to the corner of Pennsylvania and I96 today.
The anti-illegal-immigrant groups' focus remained on fixing how the border is patrolled.
Rick Dykstra of the Eaton County Republican Party explained, "We need to secure our borders first and then look at immigration law. And, without secure borders, without enforcing immigration law, changing the law is irrelevant."
Stephanie Rowe of the group, Overpasses for America, echoed his point, "You know all the undocumented people that are coming in, they're not just all children or juveniles. They're gang members. We worry about terrorists coming over the border. We'd like our borders to be at least fixed. You know, and for our government to protect 'em."
About two hours into the anti-immigration protest, the opposing group, By Any Means Necessary, showed up to fight back, again.
"We think that these people have nothing to do but target immigrants, target children, and that's not okay. And, we're not gonna permit that. Not here in Lansing, not anywhere in Michigan, not anywhere in this country. And, we're calling out on people all over this country to shut down any kind of racist, anti-immigrant protests," said Jose Alvarenga, a member of By Any Means Necessary.
No arrests were made, but as many as fifteen local and state police officers remained on the scene to keep the peace.
"We still have to preserve their right to freedom of speech, and for so long as that doesn't impose upon other laws in our ordinance, our state statute, they'll be permitted to do that. There's obviously some hostilities. There's strong feelings on both sides of the issue that necessitate our presence," explained Lansing Police Captain, Darin Southworth.
Both anti and pro immigration groups say they'll continue to fight until changes are made to the immigration system in their favor.