Eight people were arrested Tuesday after they chained themselves in the office of a Utah contractor with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)

KSL TV in Salt Lake City, Utah, reported that about two dozen people had chained themselves in the office of Management & Training Corp. in the town of Centerville. The company operates three immigrant detention centers for ICE.

About 15 of the people voluntarily left after officers talked to them, and eight were arrested for investigation of trespassing, the station reported.


Taylor Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the protesters, told KSL TV that the demonstrators were protesting Management & Training Corp. for its "involvement with prisons for profit, as well as immigrant detention."

"We are protesting the criminalization, deportation and destruction of our communities by this corporation,” Goldstein told the station. “We wanted to stop business as usual. We wanted to show how important this was to us by asking arrest and risking our freedoms.”

Management & Training Corp. spokeswoman Issa Arnita said in a statement that the business "would have been happy to meet with these individuals to talk about the work we do for ICE so they had a full understanding."

Arnita added that none of the company’s three immigrant detention centers held children.

"The group is advocating to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which they have the right to do. But they don't have the right to break the law,” Arnita said.

Centerville Police Lt. Zan Robison told KSL TV that the department generally encourages people to protest, “other than private property.”

Protests have broken out at ICE facilities and offices across the country in the past few weeks, with demonstrators calling for the agency to be abolished.

Democratic lawmakers’ support for eliminating ICE have also grown in recent weeks, in response to the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration.

A group of House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to abolish ICE and shift the agency’s responsibilities to other parts of the administration.

GOP House leaders are planning to bring the measure up for a vote, believing the bill could put some Democrats in a difficult position.