Activists protest immigration arrest in Philly
by Robert Moran, Staff Writer
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February 14, 2017 — 8:15 PM EST
Dozens of activists protested outside the Philadelphia offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for what they said was the arrest of a Latino man in a home raid Tuesday.
The New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia received a call on its hot line around 4:40 p.m. of ICE agents at a home attempting to make an arrest, said Peter Pedemonti, the group's executive director.
"We could hear the pounding at the door" over the phone, Pedemonti said. "Before we could get the address the line went dead."
New Sanctuary, an interfaith immigrant-rights group, issued an alert for activists to assemble at the ICE office at 16th and Callowhill Streets in Center City.
Pedemonti said he and several other group members saw a federal law-enforcement van pull up on Callowhill and an unidentified Latino man in handcuffs was taken into the building. Pedemonti did not know the man's identity or why he was in custody.
We wont stay quiet, we will fight for our brothers and sisters, we take risks because we know a better world is possible! #sanctuaryforall pic.twitter.com/gvJGjYdzzv
— New Sanctuary Mvt (@NSMPhilly) February 14, 2017About 60 to 70 people held a prayer vigil and sang songs outside the ICE office before peacefully dispersing, Pedemonti said.
A spokesman for the Philadelphia ICE office did not have immediate information on the man in custody.
More than 600 people have been arrested across the nation by ICE this week in what critics say are raids to implement the campaign promise of President Trump to mass depart undocumented immigrants.
John Kelly, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Monday that ICE was conducting "routine, targeted arrests" against "convicted criminal aliens and gang members" as well as other immigration-law violators.