Crowd gathers in Phoenix to protest deportations - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Crowd gathers in Phoenix to protest deportations

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PHOENIX -

A big rally was held in downtown Phoenix Monday. Protesters want President Obama to stop deportations.

This group, in concert with others, is focusing on ICE and President Obama. Though the government is shut down, they say deportations continue.

ICE was closed today for Columbus Day, but that didn't stop these marchers with their message.

An effigy of President Obama towered over protesters who chanted "not one more deportation." Their message aimed directly at the president.

"We're about to reach the two million deportation thing and we want President Obama to stop them," says Natally Cruz of Puente.

A group of about 250 people organized by activist group Puente gathered at Margaret T. Hance Park just north of downtown Phoenix.

"President Obama is approaching 2 million deportations. That's an all-time record. He's being referred to as the ‘deporter in chief,' in addition to all the other problems, this is still something that affects our community on a daily basis," says James Lyall, ACLU of Arizona.

"It's a manifestation to show the community will not take it, that if President Obama is not willing to stop deportations, the community members will stop the deportation of their community members," says Alejandro Caceras.

"It would be really nice to see this stop -- because people are getting separated from their families, and they don't do anything wrong, they're just working trying to provide for their families," says Nadia Vazquez.

They listened to speeches, did a little dancing and then marched a few blocks to ICE headquarters on Central Avenue in Phoenix. ICE is the agency that physically deports people from the country.

The northbound lanes of Central Avenue were shut down for the marchers.

Outside ICE headquarters, waiting on the other side of the street was the other side of the immigration argument.

These protestors support deportations of illegal immigrants. They belong to a group called Remember 1986 and are opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants.

As for the 1,000 immigrants being deported a day...

"I say it isn't enough to deport them all. They knew when they came here illegally they knew when they came here we have laws and laws have consequences," says Brandy Baron of Remember 1986.

It has been a peaceful demonstration -- no reports of arrests. Dozens of police officers worked this event.

Puente says its ultimate goal is to block ICE from deporting any more immigrants. ICE was closed due to the Columbus Day holiday.

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