Protest rally held outside Elizabeth immigration detention center; 5 arrested

A small group of demonstrators has been arrested while protesting outside an immigration detention center in Union County.

A group of protesters were arrested outside the Elizabeth immigration detention center for blocking the roadway.

A group of protesters were arrested outside the Elizabeth immigration detention center for blocking the roadway. (2/23/17)

ELIZABETH - Hundreds of people gathered outside the Elizabeth immigration detention center Thursday to protest against recent raids by federal immigration authorities.

The protesters lined the street outside the detention center. They chanted and carried signs against President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the Mexican border.

Several advocacy organizations, labor unions and politicians attended the rally, including New Jersey state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Assemblyman John Wisniewski. Both men are running for governor.

“We have to remember what our national creed is. 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddle masses,'” Wisniewski said. “We are the place where people go when they are unable to exist in their own place.”

Organizers are calling for the city of Elizabeth to adopt an executive order that they say could protect immigrants from being seized by immigration agents.

“To show our community we are in solidarity with them and they can come to us for support. We want to make sure they know their rights,” says activist Nedia Morsey.

The protest was mostly peaceful but several people were arrested after they tried to sit in the road with a sign reading "No More Deportations.”

Police didn't immediately have information available on what charges the arrested protesters could face. They were taken away with their hands in zip ties, and they were placed into the back of a police van.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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