Immigrant rights group protests outside NJ ICE detention center
ELIZABETH — A large crowd of people rallied Sunday afternoon outside of an Amazon warehouse, across the street from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center.
The event was aimed at protesting the corporation’s ties to the agency, ahead of the online retailer's Monday two-day promotion dubbed "Prime Day," according to Make the Road New Jersey, the organization which coordinated the protest.
The rally also was directed at the Detention Center itself, where more than 300 individuals continue to be held as they face deportation, according to Make the Road New Jersey.
Members of the organization, including some immigrants who previously have been detained by ICE themselves, called for Amazon to end its partnership with the federal agency.
Participants tried to deliver a petition with more than 200,000 signatures, demanding that Amazon "cut ties with ICE."
“In a moment when the federal government is caging children in horrendous conditions, Amazon provides key technology and data infrastructure to fuel the Trump administration’s deportation machine and bolstering the work of ICE,” Make the Road New Jersey director, Sara Cullinane said in a written release.
Heading into the weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement, pledging to provide unspecified help to immigrant communities after reports that a nationwide operation first announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter last month would target people who are in the country illegally.
"These raids do not make us safer; they will only make the work of local law enforcement more challenging and increase fears in our hardworking immigrant communities" Murphy said.
The New York Times reported a handful of arrests had been made in a few U.S. cities as of Sunday afternoon.
Total ICE arrests in New Jersey between Jan. 1 and June 21 were 1,375, according to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officials last month.
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