CLEVELAND — Yenimar Cortes, a Tlaxcala, Mexico native who grew up in New Haven, joined United We Dream activists Monday during an anti-Donald Trump rally in Cleveland’s downtown area outside the Republican National Convention.
Cortes, an 18-year-old undocumented Mexican, said she was standing against hate.
“He already has brought hate. It is a foretaste of what is to come if he is president,” Cortes said of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
At age 2, Cortes traveled with her parents from her hometown in Mexico to live in New Haven.
“Just like everyone else, they wanted me to have a good future, to get a good education, go to college. I always thought this country was just and right,” she said. “But he’s (Trump) brought so much against race and color.”
Specifically, Trump’s statements on immigration and national security stand out as policies of direct hatred to Cortes and her family, she said.
“It’s very heart breaking, actually,” she said. “It (Trump’s wall policy) demonstrates that he wants to separate cultures and people. But every city is beautiful.”
Cortes’ group rallied at the corner of St. Claire and Mall Drive in Cleveland at 12 p.m., where protesters chanted “the people, united, will never be defeated,” and “dump Trump.”
United We Dream was just one of the groups present during Monday’s counter events organized by the Coalition to Stop Trump. After the the rally, the groups marched in Cleveland’s downtown streets.
According to a Connecticut Students for a Dream press release, at least 70 immigrant youth from across six states also joined the rally and march.
The group has plans to be in Cleveland throughout the week during the RNC.
Dillon Carr is a reporter with the RichlandSource.com, a news site covering North Central Ohio. He is covering the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland.