Hundreds of Jews who blocked off an immigration detention center in New Jersey say more action is planned for later in the week. Dozens were arrested Sunday in Elizabeth.
Activists say their grassroots movement against Immigration and Customs Enforcement is just beginning.
This comes as a New York lawmaker has faced fierce backlash for comparing the immigrant crisis to the Holocaust.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border,” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told followers on social media.
Chanting “shut it down”, protestors outside the Elizabeth detention facility also drew similarities between facilities like this one, immigrant camps at the border and concentration camps.
“We are out here as Jews to show when we say never again, we mean it,” said one protestor.
When some of those demonstrating locked arms, blocking access to the ICE facility, Elizabeth Police officers arrested 36 for obstruction. All were released later that day and entered not guilty pleas Monday morning.
The grassroots group, which calls themselves “Never Again Action,” is demanding an end to ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as permanent protections for the undocumented.
“It’s really important for folks, especially those of us who are not living in border states, to remember that this issue, this crisis, is not hundreds and hundreds of miles away. It’s in our backyards. The Elizabeth detention center is 10 miles outside of New York City,” said organizer Sophie Ellman-Golan. “We’ve seen this before and we’re not going to wait until it’s too late or until conditions exactly mirror the horrific ones that have taken place before.”
PIX11 reached out to ICE about the protest at their facility. The agency had no comment.
More protests are planned in Boston, Providence, LA and San Francisco this week.