Protesters gather outside ICE headquarters in Tampa demanding changes for undocumented immigrants

Posted at 4:37 AM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 06:25:53-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A group of protesters is setting up outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Tampa to make demands on behalf of undocumented families seeking asylum in the United States.

The group says they are part of a larger, nationwide movement to draw attention to the issue. 

They are asking the federal government for an immediate and transparent investigation into allegations of sexual violence against thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees.

"These are folks who are in an incredibly vulnerable position and if they speak out, they're facing even more violence," said Dezeray Lyn, one of the protesters outside of ICE headquarters.

They also say many Florida sheriffs are holding undocumented immigrants who are arrested far longer than what is considered typical. They say this is so ICE can come and take custody of them and deport them. The group is asking for Florida sheriffs to stop that alleged practice.

They are also asking for immediate temporary protective status to be issued to undocumented immigrants who are seeking asylum here in the United States.

ABC Action News is working to get a statement from ICE on the demands being made. However,
Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello recently issued a statement on a House resolution expressing support for ICE workforce.

“ICE plays a critical role in protecting public safety and our national security, from combating the illegal drug trade to removing public safety threats from our communities. Our workforce continues to carry out their important mission and we will not be deterred by threats against our agency. I am grateful to the members of Congress who today publicly declared their support for the brave, dedicated men and women of ICE. We will continue to fulfill our sworn oaths to enforce federal immigration and customs laws.”