Activists in 3 Cities Block ICE Office Entrances, Roads to Protest Deportations

By Sameer Rao Jun 28, 2016

Several activists, representing various national and local anti-deportation and immigration reform advocacy groups, staged actions in Atlanta and Hartford yesterday (June 27) and Philadelphia today (June 28) in protest of policies that result in the deportation of undocumented immigrants. 

The actions were in response to the United States Supreme Court’s 4-4 split on United States v. Texas. As we reported last week, the Supreme Court deadlock upheld the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program is illegal. It also prevented the parallel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program’s expansion.


The action in Atlanta, organized by the #Not1More coalition, blocked the path to the city’s ICE office and temporarily halted traffic downtown. According to Fusion, nearly 50 activists marched and some chained themselves to ladders placed near the ICE building’s entrance. Holding signs and chanting, they demanded that the Administration intervene and end the deportations enabled by the Supreme Court’s non-ruling. 

"We are defending the security and stability of our families, sending a direct message to the Obama Administration," said Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights member Carlos Medina in a statement cited by Fusion. "We know that he has the ability to stop deportations at any given time. Our fight will not stop. The only thing that we will stop is the sinister machine that is the deportation machine created by this Administration." Four participants were reportedly arrested during the protest.


Activists in Hartford, Connecticut, staged a similar action yesterday. The Hartford Courant reports that more than two dozen participants blocked the city’s central Main Street near the local ICE building during rush hour. The action, organized in part by the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, ended with nine people taken into police custody. "I am undocumented, unafraid and here to stay," said Lucas Codognolla, who was arrested during the action. "I am sick and tired of living in constant fear that my family will be separated."

A coalition in Philadelphia marched from ICE offices to an exit on Vine Street Expressway, blocking it for more than an hour today. Four participants were arrested. "The words of Emma Lazarus, that are engraved on the Statue of liberty, compel me to act against the injustice of not welcoming people into our country, which prides itself on the ideals of liberty and freedom," said local pastor and anti-deportation activist Reverend Adan A. Mairena in a statement emailed to Colorlines. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mairena was one of the four arrested. A member of advocacy group Juntos, which also works with #Not1More and participated in the protest, was also arrested.