LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Nearly two dozen people gathered outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in downtown Louisville Monday, for a rally over President Trump's policies to separate migrant families at the border. The local group is part of a nationwide effort over the administration's latest immigration policy.
The group assembled on Monday morning at 7th and Broadway. The protestors included members of Black Lives Matter Louisville, Mijente Louisville, along with local supporters. The group is demanding the abolishment of ICE and the creation of state and local laws that are friendlier to immigrants, including those who are undocumented.
On Monday, the group set up camp with tents and chairs. Many of the tents were taken down by federal officials. LMPD was also assisting. Toys were also scattered by the ICE gate entrance, organizers say the toys were symbolism for "children who are being separated from families". A federal agent came out and swept the toys away and disposed of them.
The policy of prosecuting people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally led officials to separate children from their parents. Hundreds of rallies nationwide opposed the now-abandoned policy.
Louisville Metro Police posted a statement on social media on Monday:
"Early this morning, LMPD officers responded to 7th Street and Broadway outside the federal building where protestors had gathered and put up tents, including barricading an entrance. While LMPD policy and Louisville ordinance limits the ability for officers to assist federal immigration agents in enforcement, it does not remove our obligation to enforce state law. While we respect the right to peacefully protest, it must be lawful. We have a duty to make sure that protests are orderly, including not blocking public roadways or obstructing entrances to buildings. LMPD officers responded in an effort to monitor the safety of the protesters, employees of the federal building, and the public. Our role is to maintain public safety. Federal officers handled the removal of the barricade and other items placed on their property."
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued the following statement:
"The protests occurring in Louisville and other cities once again highlight the need for Washington to finally overhaul our immigration laws to ensure safe borders, a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and to reform ICE so that immigrants and refugees are treated fairly and humanely. Our city welcomes immigrants, supports the right to peacefully protest and strongly opposes the separation of families. To be clear, this morning federal law enforcement removed protestors' items from federal property; LMPD officers are on hand only to monitor the safety of the protesters, federal employees, and the public."
This story will be updated.