—4:30 EST Update: At least 20 demonstrators were taken into custody following today’s demonstrations. NDLON representative B. Lowe confirmed that today’s demonstration, which lasted more than three hours, led to an unprecedented cancellation of court proceedings for the detainees.
A group of immigration rights demonstrators blocked an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus that was full of of people being taken to Operation Streamline, a federal program that catches immigrants crossing the border, sentences them to jail time, and then deports them en masse—often in just one day. Twelve demonstrators locked themselves to the buses’ tires, while six others chained themselves to the entrance of the federal court. Police have arrived on the scene, and allegedly the demonstration is blocking traffic for up to 5 miles.
NotOneMoreDeportation says Operation Streamline’s process of rapid deportation violates immigrants’ rights to due process and adequate legal representation.
In Operation Streamline, people accused of crossing the border without authorization are diverted from immediate deportation and instead sentenced en masse as punishment to 30 to 180 days in private prisons at taxpayers’ expense. They are lined up in shackles and rapidly tried as a group to prison terms before eventually being expelled from the country. The Tucson court convicts an average of 80-100 people every weekday in its sessions.
This demonstration is happening in advance of an immigration summit in Tucson this weekend. At least 70,000 have been deported through Operation Streamline.
Post has been updated since publication.