The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced on Wednesday that it had temporarily shut down one of its facilities in Portland, OR. The move was a victory for protesters who had spent three days rallying outside the building.
The protest, organized by OccupyICEPDX and Direct Action Alliance, saw several hundred activists mass outside the office, where they held signs, lit candles, and blockaded the building garage, temporarily preventing ICE employees from leaving the site.
In an email to Splinter, an ICE spokesperson confirmed, “ICE operations at this location have been temporarily halted due to security concerns. Normal operations will resume once security concerns have been addressed.”
The spokesperson also stressed that the agency “fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference” while remaining “committed to immigration enforcement consistent with federal law and agency policy.”
On Tuesday afternoon, local ice cream vendor Fifty Licks joined the demonstration, driving their food truck to the ICE office to provide free scoops to protesters. Speaking with The Oregonian, Fifty Licks owner Chad Draizin explained, “I was pissed off yesterday and asked what I could do besides being mad.” According to the outlet, protesters met the ice cream truck with chants of “Ice cream good, ICE bad.”
It’s unclear how long it will take for the facility to restart operations. According to the ICE spokesperson, there is currently no one being detained in the building itself, and detainees are only allowed to remain there for 12 hours.
On Facebook, the protest organizers vowed to stay “rain or shine, day or night, until the [Trump administration’s] zero tolerance [immigration] policy is lifted.”