DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – First responders had to use electric saws to cut through metal locks and a car to remove demonstrators from blocking the entrance to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center Monday in Pompano Beach.
The demonstration started about 5 p.m. outside the detention facility on Powerline Road, just north of Sample Road.
Two protesters locked themselves to the fence of the facility with heavy-duty bicycle locks. While another two protesters attached themselves to a car that was blocking the entrance.
Several groups banded together to protest not only immigration policies of President Donald Trump, but also companies they said are profiting, such as Boca Raton-based GEO Group.
"They are profiting off of immigrant detention," protester Dara Hill told Local 10 News. "These are non-violent people without a criminal record. Their only crime is wanting to be here in the United States."
Since Trump took office, ICE has stepped up enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, sending thousands of undocumented immigrants to detention facilities across the country. In recent weeks, progressive groups and some Democratic lawmakers have called for ICE to be abolished.
Dozens of Broward Sheriff's Office deputies were called as protests went into the night.
Deputies arrested several of the protesters, but the demonstrators said they are just getting started.
"This is not the end. This is the beginning," protester Luke Carlos said. "This is the beginning of getting attention."