Anti-ICE rally in Durham demands end to undocumented immigrant arrests, asks for Gov. Cooper's help

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Supporters of immigration rights called out Republicans and Democrats during an anti-ICE rally Saturday afternoon.

The group El Centro Hispano and other advocates demanded they step up and do more.


Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

"This is a damn shame," stated Rev. Dr. William Barber during the rally.

Immigration rights advocates say they're outraged by ICE's arrests of more than 200 undocumented immigrants in North Carolina-separating them from families.

"It's a form of evil and wickedness," Barber said.

Barber and others likened the recent roundups to the US Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision in 1857, which declared black slaves were not and could never be American citizens.

RELATED: Roughly 200 arrested in ICE raids across North Carolina, official says agency will be more visible in Raleigh-Durham region

"All over this nation people began to be snatched literally out of their homes in 1857," Barber said. "Fredrick Douglas called it then monstrous. Evil. And if it was monstrous and evil to snatch up people in 1857, it's just as monstrous and evil to snatch up people in 2019."

That fear is very real for Marta Rodriguez, who, for the first time, revealed publicly that she's in the country illegally. Rodriguez fears deportation.

"Is it just for a child to go to school not knowing if her mother or father is going to pick them up?" Rodriguez stated through an interpreter. The group replied 'No."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it's following federal law-executing more widespread arrests targeting criminal offenders.

These arrests are now the new normal in local neighborhoods and near work sites across the state.

In a statement ICE says these arrests "Will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests."

People at the rally said that's unacceptable and put politicians on blast.

"The truth of the matter is Obama and the Democrats haven't done enough. And Trump and the Republicans are doing worse than ever," stated Barber.

Advocates also say they haven't heard enough from Governor Roy Cooper.

The group is also calling out religious leaders to be more vocal, and to financially support immigration rights groups.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.