Activists with the "Fair Immigration Reform Movement" (FIRM), a group advocating amnesty for illegal immigrants, were thrown out of Friday's session of the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, after they interrupted a speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Earlier this week, according to a press release on FIRM's website, the group participated in a rally on the National Mall "to demand the House Republican leadership pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship."
Hecklers who were escorted out of the Value Voters Summit after interrupting Cruz told MRCTV they had come to challenge Cruz on the same issue.
Joaquin Guerra, one of the hecklers from Fair Immigration Reform, explained why, out of all the speeches, they chose to interrupt Cruz:
'Ted Cruz has been a real powerful force in the Republican Party, especially of late. And, we think it's really important that he, and the others in his party, recognize the necessity of calling for a vote for a pathway to citizenship."
Asked if interrupting the speech and making a scene was counterproductive, another protestor from the pro-amnesty group replied:
"It's disruptive, but it's an audience that needs to hear our message."
Donna De La Cruz, media contact for Fair Immigration Reform, later confirmed to MRCTV that Guerra was a member of its group - and that it was aware of his plans to interrupt the event.
The following statement provided to MRCTV by De La Cruz lists the questions shouted and reaction by the Center for Community Change, of which Fair Immigration Reform is a project:
"Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change, said Cruz's comments show that he has no sympathy for the plight of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country who continue to suffer under our broken immigration system.
"'Cruz could use his influence with the conservative members of his party to embrace a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants but instead he chooses to place the blame for his own severely flawed leadership on the President," Matos said. "Instead of answering the questions from activists, he chose to ignore them and show that the conservative wing of his party has absolutely no desire to embrace immigration reform.'
"One media outlet tweeted out that an audience member told one of the activists 'Go back to Mexico.'
"Among the questions posed to Cruz from activists:
"**If you really want the Hispanic vote then pass immigration reform. Why aren't you calling on the House to vote on immigration reform?
"**Don't you want to fix immigration laws? They are clearly not working.
"**Isn't it a moral imperative to keep families together?
"**Why are you letting families be separated by needless deportation?
"**Why are you separating families? Is that a Republican value now?"