Taco trucks form wall outside Trump hotel in protest

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LAS VEGAS — A line of taco vendors lined the streets outside the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon protesting Donald Trump.

Taco trucks offered free tacos as protesters from 15 organizations held signs and wrote on a cardboard “Trump wall” in protest of Trump’s stance on immigration. Organizations represented included progressive groups supporting immigration reform and Latino representation in government.

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Local community partners present at the protest: American Bridge, America’s Voice, Battle Born Progress, Center for Community Change Action, Forward, For Our Future, iAmerica Action, Latino Victory Project, Next Gen Climate Nevada, the Nevada State AFL-CIO, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes, Mi Familia Vota, Move On, and She Wins We Win.

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American Bridge deputy communications director Kevin McAlister said the protest was in response to Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez’ statement that without careful immigration regulation there would be “taco trucks on every corner.”

“We’re just standing together and proving that it’s not too bad if there are a lot of taco trucks around,” McAlister said. “If anything, it’s a good thing.”

Brad Bainum, who also represented American Bridge at the protest, said the group of protesters hopes to make an impression in preparation for the final presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“As he rolls into the debate, (we’re) letting him know that these people are here and they’re going to vote,” Bainum said. “They’re going to be vocal and get people out to vote against him.”

Alongside the line of taco trucks outside Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, protesters sign a cardboard “Trump wall” to speak out against Donald Trump’s stance on immigration. (Gianluca Cuestas)

Antonio Bernabe, originally from Mexico, said he traveled through the night from Los Angeles to attend the protest as a member of the CHIRLA Action Fund.

“(Trump) has insulted us (Latinos),” Bernabe said. “We believe it is important for us to make a presence here for this debate. In this debate, he’s going to talk about immigration and we want him to respect us.”

Bernabe said he hopes Trump will talk about immigration solutions during the final presidential debate rather than the persecution of immigrants.

Trump hotel workers also participated in the protest, representing the Culinary Workers Union. Celia Vargas, a U.S. citizen originally from El Salvador, has worked three years for the Trump hotel housekeeping department.

Vargas said after winning an election to have union representation last December, the union stands in protest ready to negotiate a contract with Trump to achieve better work conditions.

Tommy White, business manager of Laborers’ International Union of North America, said since Trump began the campaign trail, he has denied negotiation with the Culinary Workers Union.

McAlister said people are getting excited to vote against Trump as the election approaches.

“It’s just really powerful to see hundreds and hundreds of people coming together,” McAlister said.

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