WASHINGTON - Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbleo claims a top Democrat “demanded I be deported” from an immigration event this afternoon and activists fired back that he was grandstanding.

The event focuses on Senate legislation to help Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents. Curbelo is sponsoring a different version and claims Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, tried to block him from attending. “Attempting to exclude someone with a long history of supporting Dreamers is petty, counterproductive, and selfish,” Curbelo told The Hill.

On Twitter, Curbelo said Durbin “demanded I be deported” from the press conference but he‘d attend anyway.

Durbin’s office denied the allegations and some immigration activists said Curbelo’s use of “deported” was self-serving and offensive given real people face the threat of being thrown out of the country. In the Hill, organizers with FWD.us backed up Durbin, saying there was miscommunication with Curbelo’s office.

“Other offices were not involved,” said FWD spokesman Peter Boogaard. “We continue to support Congressman Curbelo’s efforts to stand with Dreamers and are incredibly thankful for his leadership.”