ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - An estimated 200 protesters gathered outside the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building in St. Paul to call for an end to the detention centers at the U.S. border.
The Twin Cities chapter of Never Again Action organized the event.
Organizers told FOX 9 the goal was to disrupt business operations at local U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) offices until the border detention centers are closed. They also called for defunding ICE and permanent protections for all undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers.
Protesters blocked two vehicle exits out of a parking lot for an area that houses both state and federal offices. Workers from MnDOT, Veterans Affairs, and Metro Transit commuters, who use the park and ride, were among those who were unable to get their cars out.
"We know not everyone who uses these parking lots works at ICE, but we also know that unless we disrupt business as usual--so the entire public is paying attention to what's going on--then we will not get the change we need," said protest organizer Track Trachtenberg.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office agreed to cite a group of protesters if they agreed to move off the street. 29 people were cited for unlawful assembly.
A spokesperson for ICE released the following statement regarding the recent protests nationwide:
"In response to recent protests, ICE has taken additional security measures to ensure employee safety and the security of all offices. ICE operations across the country have and will continue to proceed as normal despite these events. ICE fully respects the Constitutional rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions. ICE remains committed to performing its immigration enforcement mission consistent with federal law and agency policy."