Dozens of protesters congregated outside US Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Washington, DC, Tuesday, as tensions remain high over the scope of any ICE raids on migrants this week.
Over the course of the day, protestors clad in T-shirts that read, “Never Again, Para Nadie” chanted outside of the building in an attempt to disrupt daily business and demand the agency’s closure. The protest from Never Again Action — a Jewish organization that has fanned out across the country protesting ICE detention centers — and Movimiento Cosecha — an immigrant-justice group — comes as ICE has received renewed attention in recent weeks as it prepared to arrest and deport migrant families with court-ordered removals, an operation that got underway Sunday.
“We’re not going to settle for symbolic displays. We’re here to shut this (ICE) down,” protest organizer Julia Davidovitz with Never Again Action told CNN.
“We’re trying to shut down traffic in and out of ICE HQ. We want to shut down business as usual for ICE and show that while these atrocities are happening in our country, we’re not going to allow business as usual to carry on,” she added.
A senior immigration official told CNN last week that the five-day operation would target some 2,000 family members with court orders of removal and take place over several days in the 10 cities across the nation. That operation has not resulted in mass arrests so far, according to an ICE official with knowledge of operations in several states.
“It’s a culmination of a cycle here in this building that is the terror of ICE across the country,” said another protest organizer, Brenda Valladares with Movimiento Cosecha. “It’s a moment of reckoning for this country as we have the last few years seen the level of abuse that the immigrant community has had to withstand.”
“The world is watching,” Valladares added.
Throughout the afternoon, protestors stood face to face with Department of Homeland Security police, after being moved away from a driveway, where employees exited.
Some protesters chanted, “Never again, para nadie” and “close the camps.” At times, they broke into song.
Protestors also locked arms on both ends of the street, blocking vehicle traffic. They were eventually forced to move to allow cars to pass.
By 5 p.m. ET, the protestors had marched away, leaving behind an array of “Never Again” signs.