Farmworkers, faith leaders and environmental justice advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke out Friday against President Donald Trump, saying his plans for a border wall and possible deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants are unfair and misguided.
Friday’s rally drew about 150 people outside the Robert E. Coyle Federal Building in downtown Fresno. Several people carried signs that read, “We feed you Mr. Trump” and “Immigration reform no deportation.”
United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez said that if Trump deports an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, many will be farmworkers who provide a vital service.
“Who is going to feed America?” Rodriguez said. “Or the guests at the Trump Hotel?”
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Rodriguez urged farmers to rethink their support of Trump and his policies, especially if it means they may lose a portion of their workforce.
Kennedy, whose father had a long history of supporting the UFW, said he doubts that Trump’s goal is to deport millions of immigrants. He believes Trump and other big businesses that rely on low-wage immigrant workers are purposely spreading fear and anxiety.
“If they really wanted to, they could file a lawsuit against employers,” Kennedy said. “But they don’t really want to do that because they need them. They want to continue to spread fear and anxiety so they can take advantage of them.”
Kennedy urged the crowd to move forward with love and compassion, not hate.
“These are the ideals that are going to make America great again,” Kennedy said.
Trump’s stance on immigration and the border wall has made the U.S. relationship with Mexico increasingly tense.
On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled his trip to Washington after President Trump announced he is moving forward with his plan to build a border wall and force Mexico to pay for it.