Activists block buses, shut down immigration court in Tucson

Friday’s move was a precursor to more demonstrations next week, when the activists plan to try to shut down the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Phoenix.

Immigrant rights activists said Friday they shut down a court in Tucson, Ariz., preventing authorities from processing illegal immigrants who were to be sentenced to jail and eventually deported.

The activists had chained themselves to bus tires and to the court entrance early Friday morning and had been there for three and a half hours just after noon local time.

They said they’d been told the court canceled its proceedings for the day as a result of their protest.

The illegal immigrants on the buses were being held under Operation Streamline, which is designed to give illegal immigrants jail sentences before they are deported, as a deterrent to keep them from trying to reenter the country in the future. The activists, though, say the program circumvents due process rights.

“Anyone who witnesses Operation Streamline will come away convinced that it is both unconstitutional and immoral,” said activist Roberto Cintli Rodriguez. “There is no justice in that courtroom. It violates every principle the U.S. claims to ascribe to. When humanity is confronted with unjust laws, it is our responsibility to challenge them.”


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