ATLANTA — Security guards pushed dozens of protesters away from the downtown Immigration and Customs Enforcement office driveway as they tried to block official access to the building on Monday.
President Donald Trump tweeted that the mass immigration raids were coming over the weekend. They did not occur here in metro Atlanta, but that didn’t stop protesters from demonstrating Monday in front of the ICE office.
Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot was outside the office as agents pushed protesters out of the way to allow an agency SUV to leave the parking lot.
Even though the vehicle got out of the driveway, protesters still blocked its way down the street.
Protest organizer Mallory Harris told Elliot they oppose the Trump administration’s announcement of mass immigration arrests and the detention of immigrants in camps.
“This is part of a national movement, a Jewish, immigrant-led movement to shut down ICE,” Harris said. “I’m here because I have family that perished in the Holocaust, and I learned from elementary school that when you see the buildup to mass atrocity you stop it and shut it down.”
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Elliot contacted ICE on Monday to get reaction to the protest. An ICE representative sent him a statement saying:
“ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and…removal from the United States.”
Jeff Corkill handcuffed himself to the ICE office building’s front gate in protest of the policy. Security guards tried to cut him loose but couldn’t, so they left him there.
“I think it’s time that we stand up, that we make a statement and we say enough is enough. Never again means never again,” Corkill told Elliot.
Margo Paez said she thinks protests like Monday’s can change minds.
“I think we’ve seen time and time again that when people come down the street in masses that we can make change,” Paez said.
There were reports that security detained Corkill, but Elliot was not able to confirm that.