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48 arrested after "Abolish ICE" protest halts traffic in Manhattan

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2019 13:33 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], July 16 (ANI): At least 48 people were arrested by the police on Monday (local time) as demonstrators blocked the traffic in Midtown Manhattan during a protest calling to end the sudden clampdown on illegal immigrants residing in the United States by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
The demonstrators briefly shut down traffic at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue during the "Abolish ICE" protest. Holding signs that read "Abolish ICE" and "Close the camps," protesters also demanded the closure of detention facilities holding migrant children and families, CNN reported.
An inspector with the New York Police Department's Strategic Response Group confirmed the number of arrested to CNN.
During the protests, Texas Democratic Representative, Veronica Escobar, blasted a new rule by the Trump administration that would dramatically limit the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter the US by land through Mexico.
She went on to say that President Donald Trump is "trying to make immigrants fearful of being in this country, asylum-seekers fearful of seeking asylum."
The clampdown on undocumented immigrants living across the United States that began on Sunday has led to widespread fear among thousands of people living in the country illegally.
The raids, which were initially planned to take place in June, eventually began this weekend and focused on cities with high immigrant populations including New York, Chicago and Miami.
The actions are further meant to deter a surge in Central American families fleeing poverty and gang violence in their home countries, with many seeking asylum in the United States.
Addressing the White House, US President Trump had last week announced that raids by the ICE officials would begin very soon.
The latest immigration push was further triggered after Trump in a series of provocative tweets on Sunday targeted four US congresswomen telling them to "go back" to the "totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came", adding: "you can't leave fast enough".
Without naming the Representatives, the consecutive Twitter outbursts come shortly after Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley condemned the President's immigration policies and conditions at the border detention facilities.
While Omar refused to comment on Trump's attacks directed at her, Ocasio-Cortez was quoted as saying, "I am not surprised" by Trump's comments. (ANI)