ICE Protesters Block Entrance to Federal 'Deportation Court,' Say Drivers Deliberately Drove Into Them

Calling for an end to migrant detention, as many as 200 demonstrators gathered at the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota. on Tuesday, blocking workers from coming into or leaving the facility.

Video and photos of the rally appear to show dozens of protesters blocking the entrances and exits to the building's parking lots with vehicles and demonstration lines.

"Come join us outside the Federal Deportation Court (Whipple Building)!" Never Again Action, the group behind the protest, wrote in a tweet. "We're here, we're staying strong, we'll still be here when you arrive, we're singing in Hebrew and we'll teach you the words!"

While organizers said the protest was a peaceful demonstration, some participants claimed on Twitter that there were at least two incidents in which frustrated drivers drove towards demonstrators at relatively slow speeds.

In one case, Carin Mrotz, the executive director of local Minnesota social justice group Jewish Community Action, said a driver "ran his car into a group of peaceful protesters," while another yelled from his car: "I want to go home to my family!"

"That's the point," Mrotz said. "We're here because families are being torn apart and children caged."

In a second incident, another Twitter user, Brandon Schorsch, said "another car just drove on the sidewalk at about 15mph into protesters."

Asked whether anyone got hurt, Schorsch responded: "Scrapes at most, crowd blocked it well and responded appropriately to slow the vehicle."

Still, he said, the incident "was very jarring."

"Some older folks and folks with disabilities were in the path," he said. "Certainly was a scary moment."

ICE has not immediately responded to a request from Newsweek for comment.

However, in a statement to Fox News, an ICE spokesperson said that "in response to recent protests, ICE has taken additional security measures to ensure employee safety and the security of all offices."

"ICE fully respects the Constitutional rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions," the spokesperson said.

They added: "ICE operations across the country have and will continue to proceed as normal despite these events... ICE remains committed to performing its immigration enforcement mission consistent with federal law and agency policy."

In a tweet, the Never Again Action group said "shutting down an ICE building isn't 'Minnesota nice'. Blocking a road isn't polite. Standing in front of a car isn't safe." But, it said, "there are lives at stake., so we're going to do it anyway. Because it works. Because it can't be ignored. Because #NeverAgainIsNow."

ICE protest
Protesters march to offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. At a separate protest on Tuesday, July 29, protesters rallied outside the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn., blocking drivers from entering or exiting the building's parking lot areas. Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty