Authorities arrested activists in Philadelphia calling for eliminating the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after protests outside an ICE building turned violent.
Dozens of Philadelphia police officers on bikes and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorities arrested throngs of protesters and tied their hands up using zip-ties for blocking the entrance to the ICE office in Philadelphia’s Center City, according to a video captured by CBS Philly.
CBS Philly reports that the activists have been outside the office in nearly 100-degree weather since Monday afternoon. An organizer told the outlet that demonstrators plan to camp outside the ICE office until their demands have been met.
Protesters have been camping outside the Philadelphia ICE office for at least 16 hours, with many blocking the garage entrances to the facility. Officials say they warned the demonstrators on at least three separate occasions not to block the garage for the facility.
The activists are calling for open-borders, ending the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” on immigration, and abolishing the federal agency responsible for protecting the United States’ borders.
Happening now outside of Philadelphia’s City Hall: A couple hundred people are out here in 100 degrees heat to protest US immigration policies.
— immigrant jew jawn (@abgutman) July 2, 2018
The Justice Department announced the implementation of its “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal immigration in April to reduce the number of illegal crossings over the U.S. southern border.
Other activists have camped out in front ICE buildings with the intent of blocking officials from entering until ICE is dismantled. Federal officials dressed in riot gear arrested protesters camping out in front of Portland’s ICE building Thursday in Portland, Oregon, for blocking the entrance to federal property.
The demonstrators’ encampment forced the Portland ICE office to close its doors for a few days because officials could not access the building.
DHS officials handed out notices to the protesters warning them they should abandon their encampments or face arrest.
It is unclear whether DHS officials are issuing the same notices to the Philadelphia protesters.