Yesterday protesters gathered in Aurora outside the GEO immigration detention facility in a call to end negative rhetoric against undocumented residents that is feared willl soon result in “mass deportations.”
Not far off the I-70 exit for Peoria Street, just off from brand new bridge construction, sits the private detention facility that’s operated by GEO Group and contracted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The facility holds all kinds 0f non-citizen detainees for all kinds of reasons, not just people committed of crimes or facing deportation. Many people inside arrived at the U.S. border seeking asylum, often traveling to Mexico from all over the world in hopes the government will help them escape violence at home.
But ICE does preside over immigration-related investigation and prosecution. Protesters gathered here as a result of an uptick in the the agency’s activity. Denverite recently reported on their presence in county court and perhaps newly-aggressive stance toward certain undocumented residents.
Alan Rosenfeld captured the group’s sentiment, quoting Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who escaped Nazi Germany and spoke out against fascism alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“The most important thing I learned,” Rosenfeld read, referring to Prinz’ time under Hitler, “was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”