Students debate at Michigan State University event featuring Rep. Tom Tancredo (Photo: The State News)

Protesters at Michigan State University set off a fire alarm and assaulted a student organizer at an event last night on illegal immigration that featured Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who began his speech amid a mixture of boos and applause.

Kyle Bristow, chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, which sponsored the event with the school’s College Republicans, said he was kicked and spat upon by demonstrators outside the College of Law lecture hall where Tancredo spoke, reported the State News, an independent campus newspaper.

Bristow called the protesters “racist.”

“It’s sad we need police to come to control these radical leftists,” he said.

A video provided by Denver’s Rocky Mountain News shows protesters in front of the lecture hall with a banner. One declares to the seated students, “We are very dissatisfied with Michigan State University … we are a diverse community at Michigan State University, and we are all immigrants. …”

Controversy over illegal immigration also turned violent at a College Republican event last month at Columbia University when protesters taunted a black speaker with the “n-word” and then shut down the meeting when they stormed the stage during a speech by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist.

Tancredo this week has engaged in a war of words with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that started with a WND interview with the Colorado congressman in which he called Miami a “Third World country.”

Rep. Tom Tancredo speaks to Michigan State University students (Photo: The State News)

Michigan State University police said last night the protesters, about 10 to 20, likely were responsible for pulling a fire alarm twice during the evening. A few hundred people evacuated the building after the first alarm, the campus newspaper reported.

Before Tancredo’s arrival, the protesters gathered with signs bearing messages such as “Ignorant Racist” and “Where’s the wall to keep you out?”

Graduate accounting student Matt Ledesma said he witnessed a protester being pulled out of the discussion area for spitting on someone, according to the State News.

“They were being disruptive,” he said. “Someone pulled the fire alarm, which got us all out here.”

After police allowed people back in the building, Tancredo addressed a crowd of more than 40, stressing the issue of illegal immigration must be approached with a clear head.

“Look, you can’t get emotional,” he said, according to the campus paper. “Let’s just talk about the policy.”

The congressman also emphasized the importance of a single national language, English.

“I think diversity is a great thing,” he said. “But it becomes a negative thing when it’s the only thing.”

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