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Activists in Mobile, Alabama, Plan to Protest Trump

“We’re a small community, but we are very powerful, very strong," said one activist.
Photo credit: Vivianna Rodriguez
Vivianna Rodriguez cannot wait for Donald Trump’s speech Friday night in Mobile, Alabama.
“I was shocked when I heard that he was coming to Mobile. But I was very excited [as well]. Not because he was speaking, but because we’re going to do something about it," she said.
Vivianna is a 24 year-old senior at the University of South Alabama —whose football stadium will host Trump on Friday— and she is an American-born daughter of a single-parent undocumented Mexican immigrant.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has referred to those with her background as “anchor babies."
It’s those types of comments that have outraged Vivianna and parts of her college community and energized them to take action.
“Now he wants to take birth citizenship away from me, calling me an anchor baby?" she said. "To go to that extent just so that I won’t have my citizenship here when I was born here? This is the only country that I know, and then to call me not an American?"
The young Mexican-American activist told NBC News that she is now “hyped,” to organize other students from the University of South Alabama. She threw a party Thursday night to make signs and commit to "making a presence" at the school's Ladd-Peebles Stadium Friday.
“You’re not just going to walk into Mobile and think we’re not going to have anything to do about it.”
The city of Mobile, the surrounding Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and several cities along the southern border of Alabama have higher populations of Latinos compared to much of the rest of the state, according to recent Census data and the Pew Research Center. And those numbers are growing. The areas were particularly affected by a controversial state immigration law, passed and subsequently largely gutted in 2011, that targeted undocumented immigrants.
“We’re a small community, but we are very powerful, very strong,” said Frank Barragan, South Alabama Regional Organizer for the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ).
“The atmosphere is very strong, we work so hard, and when I say ‘we,' we’re talking of the people that work for companies of immigration reform,” explained Barragan. The ACIJ organizer added that there will be a presence at the Trump rally on their part as well, noting they will be there “all night."
Vivianna and her friends have created a song called the Trump-arena—to the tune of the Macarena— to protest Trump's appearance.
"I think what we want is to just represent a voice, represent a voice of the Latino community here in Mobile in the south,” she told NBC News.
“Even if it’s just one person, even if it’s me, we’ll be there."