June 22 (UPI) — More than 100 people are camping outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Portland, Ore., to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The ICE office was forced to close Wednesday, days after the group set up a camp and called for the end of the enforcement agency and President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
“Despite having a three-week-old baby, our family has made the decision to move into the ICE occupation,” demonstrator Gregory McKelvey said in a tweet this week. “We won’t leave until ICE does. As long as families are being separated, our family will take a stand.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the city would not try to shut the protests down — calling ICE an agency “on the wrong track.”
The group, which calls itself #OccupyICEPDX, urges activists across the United States to set up at other ICE facilities.
“Wherever ICE agents dare to show their faces, they must be challenged and shamed for carrying out this fascist policy,” the group said in a statement.
Protests have sprouted nationwide recently over the administration’s stance on immigration, including one at an agency office in New York City where activists blocked an ICE van.
In San Francisco Tuesday, some 500 protesters held signs that read, “Refugees In, ICE Out” and “Keep Families Together.”
“Our country was built on immigrants, and they are denying them basic human rights and treating them inhumanly,” protester Algazzali Gonzalez told KNBC-TV.
Although ICE temporarily closed its Portland office, #OccupyICEPDX said it’s just getting started and promised to occupy other offices.
“I think it should show the rest of the country that we are not powerless. The people have more power than ICE, we just need to act,” Greg McKelvey, a community organizer in Portland, told VICE. “Facebook posts aren’t enough. If immigrant families can’t be comfortable, then we shouldn’t be either. That’s what solidarity is.”
Trump signed an order Wednesday to reunite families at the border but vowed his administration would keep enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy.
“We must maintain a Strong Southern Border,” Trump said in a tweet Friday. “We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections.”