Community and Immigrant Rights Leaders Speak Up in Wake of Protests Over Police Killings

Jun 1, 2020
5:07 PM

Demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, near the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Protests across the United States demanding an end to police killings of Black Americans have gone on for nearly a week, starting shortly after George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25. Now, organizations like Mijente are demanding that the community speak up to condemn racism and support the protestors.

Major advocacy groups in the Latinx organizing space have begun to do so on social media, releasing statements condemning the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breanna Taylor in Louisville.

Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS, not only released a statement on behalf of the organization, she also spent part of the day Sunday at the protest in the nation’s capital.

In the statement Murguía released over the weekend, she said, “UnidosUS stands in solidarity with our African American brothers and sisters in Minneapolis and nationwide, and we urge our community to unite with them in seeking accountability and justice.”

In the Latino community, racism against Black people —including Afro-Latinos— has a long history. So it’s especially important for leading Latinx organizations to speak up now and commit to standing with the protestors.

Murguía also made brief mention of the violence seen in the protests, refusing to either condemn or express support.

“While we have long supported only nonviolent protesting, the demonstrations and events in Minnesota and across the country reflect the intense emotions of a growing number of Americans who demand change and the principled leadership our communities and country deserve,” she said.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) criticized the violence seen in the protests in even stronger terms. It’s worth saying that the protests have been largely peaceful, and the police have played a big part in the violence so far. LULAC president Domingo García put out a statement urging an end to what he called a “civil disturbance,” saying that “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Other organizations were more critical of the police and elected officials including President Trump, who openly threatened protesters on social media to the point where Twitter blocked one of his tweets last week, saying that it violated their rules against glorifying violence.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Hispanic Federation

Latino Justice PRLDEF

Voto Latino

United We Dream

Make the Road NY

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) flew a drone over the protest in Minneapolis last week, stoking fears that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would soon follow. Immigrant rights organizations shared know-your-rights information for protestors to keep in mind.

In addition congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out her frustration about increased funding to CBP that she had opposed.


Ana Lucía Murillo is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. and the 2020 summer correspondent for Latino Rebels. She tweets from @analuciamur