hillary clinton
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ignored a heckler at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's (CHCI) gala on Thursday. Yet the candidate might not be able to brush off the issues raised by the activist, who criticized the candidate for accepting donations from prison lobbyists. The issues of immigration prisons and campaign finance reform are likely to come up in the first Democratic debate, hosted by CNN/Facebook in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week. ABOVE: Clinton smiles while attending a panel on healthcare in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

“Our message to Hillary Clinton is simple: immigrant youth do not trust you,” said Juan Carlos Ramos in a statement issued through United We Dream following his heckling of the former Secretary of State.

As her Democratic rivals push increasingly progressive proposals for prison reform, Clinton is under fire from the left for accepting donations from Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group, leading private prison companies that operate immigrant detention facilities.

“It is time to drop the prison money and stand with our community — you can’t have it both ways,” Ramos said. “Each dollar of private prison money accepted by the Clinton campaign undermines her pro-immigrant policy promises, and our community will not be fooled.”

Video of the event shows Clinton ignoring Ramos and using her microphone to speak over him for a full minute at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's (CHCI) gala on Thursday. Clinton never acknowledged Ramos in her five minute speech according to CNN’s Dan Merica, who was at the event.

While shouting at Clinton, Ramos held this mock campaign sign.

Ramos, 22, is an early career activist, a Dreamer from El Salvador who moved to the U.S. when he was 15. He has interrupted speeches by both Marco Rubio and Barack Obama, according to Fusion. Ramos’ heckling is not just rudeness, but the embodiment of renewed skepticism by immigrant activists.

While Ramos might not speak all immigrant youth, he does represent United We Dream, the prominent pro-immigrant organization that brought up Lorella Praeli, a Dreamer/DACA recipient who now serves as Hillary Clinton’s Latino Outreach Director.

Quoting Barack Obama, Praeli offered an indirect retort after Ramos interrupted her candidate. She didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Latin times.

Praeli is a Dreamer, but she’s also reportedly a legal permanent resident (a green card holder), meaning that she will be able to vote eventually (if she hasn’t already receive citizenship; she didn’t respond to our request for comment). That’s not true for Ramos, a DACA recipient who lives in a legal limbo under a deportation deferral that could be rescinded at any moment.

To be fair, Clinton has pledged to preserve DACA and push for comprehensive immigration reform as well as a pathway to citizenship for residents like Ramos. And despite recieving money from the prison lobby, she's spoken in support for prison reform.

She may have hoped that immigration groups would leave her alone. Clinton extended an olive branch to Dream activists at the beginning of her campaign, meeting with prominent DACA recipients at an event in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May of 2015. That meeting, along with appointment of Parelli, earned Clinton her adulation from pro-immigrant groups and months of relative silence from activists.

Next week, Clinton heads back to Las Vegas under very different circumstances for the first round of Democratic debates. In contrast to the hand-picked pack of Dreamers that she met with at her roundtable in May, Clinton will face her Democratic primary rivals, high-bidding opponents who are also courting the Latino vote.

Bernie Sanders has managed to raise millions in campaign cash without the help of prison lobby bundlers. Martin O’Malley, whose immigration plan details a progressive policy smorgasbord, including shutting down immigration prisons.

As Secretary of State, Clinton supported family detention and child migrant deportations, but has become more critical of the Obama administration as a candidate.

She leads in polls of Latino Democrats and enjoys support among prominent Latino leaders. She has already locked key endorsements, like that of former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Over the weekend, Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) is expected to act as Clinton’s surrogate in a Las Vegas campaign event.

Yet United We Dream's actions show that loyalty from Latino groups is still up for grabs.

Has Clinton done enough to earn the trust of Latinos? Are activists being fair to the candidate? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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