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Latino City Official: ‘Murrieta Is Not Racist’

A Latino city official in Murrieta, California said his town — which made national headlines after it stopped buses with border children from coming in — was not prejudiced, and said that while he did not call for the protests, he was concerned about allowing immigrant families to come to their town.

"Murietta is not racist. Everyone in Murietta knows I’m brown; they knew I was a Latino and they embraced my family," said Harry Ramos, Murietta's Mayor Pro-Tem, who is a Puerto Rican former Marine raised in the Bronx, New York. He spoke to NBC News after he first reached out to a well-known Hispanic website, Latino Rebels, protesting the City Manager's open letter criticizing the protesters who had stopped the buses.

Ramos defended the protesters. "The whole thing was we don’t release illegal immigrants who had not been properly and medically screened in background checks; that was a major concern," he said. "While my heart breaks for the kids, we are a nation of laws." Ramos said sending children back to their families would be better, and it would deter others "from spending their life savings on paying coyotes."

Tensions Rise in Murrieta After Protesters Block Buses of Immigrants 2:56

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