Immigration activists storm stage during Kay Hagan speech

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Kay Hagan, a Democratic senator from North Carolina, could lose her seat this November if her Republican challenger gains any more ground in the polls. But that isn't stopping young immigration activists from targeting her with protest actions.


Two activists stormed the stage while Hagan spoke at a campaign event on Sunday, brandishing signs with messages such as "friends don't deport friends." The protest followed a similar action at a Hagan campaign event on Saturday, when Dreamers disrupted a speech by Hillary Clinton.

Since the summer, Hagan has said she would not support executive action by President Obama to grant deportation relief to undocumented immigrants. While the conservative stance may win over some North Carolina voters, it didn't sit well with advocacy groups.


The activists who climbed onstage with Hagan on Sunday — from the North Carolina Dream Team — remained there for roughly a minute while the senator finished her speech.

"We definitely support immigration reform," Hagan told activists. "But you need to go talk to Thom Tillis," she said, referring to her Republican opponent.

Hagan voted for a comprehensive immigration package that passed in the Senate in 2013. The push failed to attract Republican support in the House of Representatives, however.

The race in North Carolina is near even, according to the latest polls, and donations to both candidates have soared. The race is estimated to reach $90 million in spending, with more than half of that coming from contributors outside the state. By some estimates, it could be the most expensive Senate race ever.


Latinos, who support immigration reform in high numbers, make up 3 percent of eligible voters in North Carolina.

Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.

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