FAIRFAX, Va. — Signs, shouts and songs clashed Tuesday night outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Fairfax, Virginia.
Republican Corey Stewart, who is running for U.S. Senate in Virginia, organized the rally in support of ICE, which also drew protesters. Stewart is challenging Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.
As Stewart took to a microphone to speak, protesters standing on a sidewalk with their own sound system blasted music in an effort to drown him out. “I want to thank all those folks in the back who are providing the entertainment for this evening,” Stewart said, later calling the protesters “goofballs.”
Stewart praised the work of ICE agents and echoed President Donald Trump’s calls for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “How many lives have to be sacrificed? How many more young people have to be murdered at the hands of illegal aliens?” he said.
Danny Cendejas with La ColectiVA, one of the groups that organized the protest of Stewart’s rally, said, “What we are looking and fighting for are strong, united families and communities, as opposed to mass incarceration and deportation.”
“We should be investing in social needs rather than criminalizing people of color and immigrants,” Cendejas said.
About 40 people from each side were kept separated by a line of police officers. Violence was avoided, but people on each side held signs and yelled at each other. One group chanted, “Build the wall!” and “Kav-an-augh!” as the other shouted, “Racists!” and “Shame!”