Almost three dozen activists were arrested for obstructing the doors to an immigration office in Connecticut, on Monday.
Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley confirmed that 35 people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and first-degree trespassing.
The group was protesting the ordered deportation of undocumented Ecuadorean couple Franklin and Gioconda Ramos, who are scheduled to be booted to their home country on Friday.
More than 100 people joined the activists, holding signs and chanting.
The banners were marked with the slogans “Keep the Ramos family together” and “ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) stop your ethnic cleansing” were on display as the group chanted the names of several undocumented immigrants who had been targeted by the agency.
“They say that the Israelites said that Goliath was so big, how could we beat him? David said, ‘Goliath he’s so big how could I miss?’” Rev. Paul Fleck of the Hamden Plains United Methodist Church said. “We’ve targeted you today, ICE, and we’re going to keep coming back if you don’t free Marco Reyes, if you don’t allow the Ramos family to stay, if you keep tearing our families apart in Connecticut,” he said.
The protesters chanted with arms linked to show solidarity with the Ramoses, who entered the United States in 1993. The South American nationals managed to learn English, purchase property and put their U.S.-born children through college.
“It’s very important for us as citizens to be here to stand against injustice,” added Marty Nathan. “We are here to fight for their rights.”
Jason Ramos' bid to sponsor his parents for green cards hit a wall as authorities rejected a deportation deadline extension.
“The 11 million,” Jason vocalized during the protest, acknowledging the number of undocumented individuals affected by the cracked down of ICE. The protesters followed his chant with, “We raise our voice for them. Not one more.”
The protesters filed into three police vehicles after officers instructed them to move. Jason was among those detained.
ICE informed the couple, on Aug. 1, of their intention to enact deportation proceedings.
They are among up to 1,800 undocumented immigrants in Meriden, Connecticut whose status came under threat since new administration policy changes took effect.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration pulled the plug on various protective privileges previously enjoyed by undocumented immigrants and 'Dreamers' alike – leading to a 60 percent increase in deportation figures.
At the end of August, the Ramoses showed proof of one-way tickets purchased for a return to Ecuador to immigration officials, after which they were ordered to wear GPS enabled ankle bracelets prior to their flight on Friday.
Following deportation, undocumented immigrants who previously resided in the United States for more than a year are required to remain outside the country for a decade, unless the stipulation is waived.