Jewish group plans DC protest to occupy ICE detention centers

Jewish group plans DC protest to occupy ICE detention centers
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A Jewish group that has been protesting at U.S. Customs and Immigration (ICE) centers across the country is planning its largest protest yet Tuesday in D.C. 

Never Again Action is planning a #ShutDownICE protest at 11:30 a.m. on the National Mall as the group continues to push for the government to close the border facilities that reports have shown to be overcrowded, placing migrants in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Tuesday’s planned D.C. protest comes as the Trump administration has announced mass ICE raids to deport certain immigrants. 

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“We have seen this before — and when we say never again, we mean it. This is just the beginning, and we are not stopping until ICE is shut down,” Never Again says in its online announcement

The movement began after Serena Adlerstein, 25, posted on Facebook asking “What if young Jews occupied ICE detention centers and shut them down?.”

Adlerstein spoke to NBC News, telling the network the idea came as she heard pundits debate whether the border detention centers should be called “concentration camps.” She was reminded of the phrase used when discussing the Holocaust: “Never Again.”

A week later, 36 protesters were arrested outside an ICE detention center in New Jersey. More than 10 protests across the country followed, as protesters carried signs and recited chants with the message that “Never Again Means Close the Camps.” 

Protesters and Democratic lawmakers have been calling out inhumane conditions at camps and the treatment of migrants. House Democrats who toured facilities said women were told to drink out of toilets. Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Manufacturing shrinks, raising questions for Trump Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties MORE (D-Mass.) peered over a fence into a facility and said she saw children being marched "like little prisoners."

But immigration officials and many Republicans have defended the facilities. 

Vice President Pence visited detention centers in Texas last week. He praised Customs and Border Protection officials for their “compassionate work” and said he “couldn’t be more impressed.”