Boston.com reports that estimates vary from hundreds to thousands of people who attended an anti-immigration rally in Boston outside the State House on Beacon Hill on Saturday.
CBS Boston estimated the number of protesters in the hundreds, but Jeff Kuhner, the organizer of the rally, estimated the number at roughly 10,000 people. Signs with messages such as “Deport illegals” and “Americans before illegals” were carried by protesters who appeared between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Kuhner, interviewed by Boston.com, said that he had emigrated legally from Canada in the 1990s on a work visa so he could complete his PhD. Kuhner obtained a green card in 2006 and is working on becoming a naturalized citizen. He commented about Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision for the state to offer shelter to unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants: “I’ve never seen any kind of a backlash like this before on any issue ever. People in this state are livid. They feel betrayed by the political elite.”
A Massachusetts state official would not commit to saying exactly how many immigrants crossing the southern U.S. border would be welcomed to the state and allowed to stay, saying it was “unclear.” Massachusetts has said it would allow as many as 1,000 children to stay at secure facilities for as many as four months.
Kuhner said he thought the story of the rally would likely go viral, boasting, “We made the Drudge Report.” He also said the common portrayal of the illegal immigrant children flooding the country is inaccurate, adding, “These are not children. When you say child, the implication is 4, 5, 6 [years old]. They’re teenagers – many of them are gangbangers… If you’re 15, you’re not a child. A child is 12 and under.”