A group of protesters upset with federal immigration roundups stormed the barriers near an Aurora, Colorado ICE facility Friday night, pulling down the American flag from its flagpole and replacing it with the Mexican flag. The protesters then defaced the American flag and raised it upside-down.
Protestors on @ICEgov property just pulled down the American flag and replaced it with the Mexican flag. The group by the doors is growing. Though most protestors are still on the street. pic.twitter.com/X2waaFMEOW— Matt Mauro (@mattmauronews) July 13, 2019
According to the Denver Post, the majority of protesters on the site were demonstrating peacefully, while "another group stormed the barriers near the building and pulled down an American flag off the flag pole in front of the facility and replaced it with a Mexican flag."
Police take down Mexican flag and defaced American flag outside ICE immigration facility. pic.twitter.com/CfDmYDtzxv— Jaclyn Allen (@jaclynreporting) July 13, 2019
"We want to close down the detention center, and we want them to release these immigrants to their families or sponsors," protest organizer Patty Lampman told Westword.
Cities across the country have been preparing for anticipated federal raids aimed at detaining and deporting thousands of people who skipped out on their immigration hearings and are residing illegally within the United States.
Immigration reform advocates said that communities around Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco were being targeted by raids expected to start Sunday and last through at least Thursday.
“It’s almost like getting ready for a hurricane – it’s that state of alarm that people are feeling,” said Melissa Taveras of the Miami-based Florida Immigrant Coalition. “People are asking, ‘Is it OK for us to go work? Is it OK to take our kids to school?’” -USA Today
Open-border advocates say the raids are meant to terrorize communities of illegal immigrants, where approximately 2,000 families are expected to be targeted.