Protestors Pull Down US Flag From ICE Building, Fly Mexican Flag

July 13, 2019 Updated: July 13, 2019

Anti-ICE protesters pulled down a star-spangled banner that hung over a federal building holding illegal immigrants on July 12, and flew a Mexican flag in its place.

The protest at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility near Denver, Colorado was organized by a collection of local socialist, Marxist, and communist organizations, along with other groups opposed to current U.S. border policy.

They were calling for the shutdown of “concentration camp” detention centers and to “let them all in.”

Denver is one of 10 cities nationwide where raids by ICE officials targeting criminals are expected to start on July 14.

During what police described as a peaceful protest, a “Blue Lives Matter” flag was also taken down and spray-painted with the words “Abolish ICE,” then raised again upside-down, according to CBSDenver.

Photographs and videos posted to social media show the flags being changed as a crowd of hundreds looked on outside the facility in the city of Aurora, which forms part of the Denver metro area.

Police later restored the U.S flag to its position.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the facility, according to Fox31, to protest the ICE raids scheduled for Sunday in many major U.S. cities.

Aurora police chief Nick Metz praised the Aurora police and community for the way the demonstration went.

“Thank you to everyone who remained peaceful & took the time to thank my cops,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all the officers who were there to ensure everyone’s safety.”

The protest, which was dubbed the March to Close Concentration Camps, called for the closure of detention centers and for all those being held to be granted entry to the United States under the strapline “Let Them All In.”

President Donald Trump confirmed on July 12 that ICE deportations will begin on July 14 and will focus on removing criminals, despite the ongoing opposition against the enforcement operation.

“There’s nothing to be secret about. ICE is law enforcement. They’re great patriots. They have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out. Because hundreds of people know about it. It’s a major operation,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on July 12.

“It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries. Or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put in them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else.”

The operation, which will target at least 2,000 illegal immigrants, will affect 10 major cities across the nation, two current and one former homeland security officials told The New York Times on July 11.

The plan to enforce the law on illegal immigrants with final orders of removal, including families whose immigration cases had been fast-tracked by a judge, was announced by Trump in late June.

Janita Kan contributed to this report. 

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