AURORA, Colo. — An immigration protest planned for next week is drawing concern from employees at the ICE Processing Center in Aurora.
Abolish ICE plans on protesting outside the Aurora home of the warden in charge of running the ICE detention center.
Protests are happening every day this week outside the facility as part of a national week of action.
A Facebook post from Abolish ICE says, “Join us in confronting a high-level immigration-enforcement official at their home! We will also be canvassing their neighborhood and informing their neighbors about their role in the inhumane organization they work for. If the Gestapo lived next door to you—wouldn’t you want to know?”
Gloria Leyba is with Sanctuary For All, and says the protest is necessary.
“Our impacted families don’t go home and sleep peacefully at night. They’re affected, their children are afraid,” she said. “I am standing with the people that are being brutalized by this system. And if it’s too hot, quit your job.”
GEO Group, the private company that runs the facility, released the following statement on the protest:
“The safety of our employees and those entrusted to our care is our highest priority. We are deeply troubled by the dangerous rhetoric and intimidation perpetrated by these extremist groups, who have now targeted one of our employees and his family at their home, recklessly releasing their personal information. These are the same radical organizations that stormed our facility, which has been operating in Aurora for 30 years, and desecrated our American flag.
“The dishonest narrative and lies being spread by radical groups about the services our company provides on behalf of the federal government has only led to the endangerment of our employees, of government employees, and the public. They continue to fan the flames of hate and fear with little regard for the tragic consequences. Earlier this summer a gunman attacked a GEO facility in Tacoma following a protest the day before and shots were fired into a GEO office in San Antonio.
“To be clear, the services we provide today are in no way different from the high-quality, professional services we provided for eight years under President Obama’s Administration. We have been a trusted service provider to the federal government for over three decades, under Democratic and Republican Administrations, and in that time, we have never played a role in setting immigration policy nor have we ever advocated for or against immigration enforcement policies. We do not manage any shelters or facilities housing unaccompanied minors or any border patrol holding facilities. Our facilities are not overcrowded; they are highly rated by independent accreditation entities and provide humane residential care, including 24/7 medical services, modern recreation amenities, and access to legal counsel.
“Now that Congress’ summer recess is over, activists seeking change in immigration laws and policies should direct their thoughts and ideas to our elected leaders. These misdirected attacks and intimidation of our employees must stop and we encourage our local leaders to stand against these hateful tactics and push for a return to civil discourse.”