About 100 people blocked the street outside the Fresno County Jail on Sunday afternoon, protesting the county’s collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the jail.
Protesters sat linked with each other in the middle of the street in front of the jail on M Street between Fresno and Mariposa streets. Others circled the sitting protesters, chanting for Sheriff Margaret Mims to remove ICE from the jail. Some held signs in Spanish translating to: “Without papers, without fear.”
The crowd thinned around 3 p.m. as hail began to pelt downtown and gusts of wind swept through the area. Some took cover under the store fronts across from the jail.
Police cars blocked the street at Mariposa for the demonstration, and officers were stationed along the area. Police said the crowd, which began at Fresno City Hall and walked over to the jail, was peaceful. Police declined to comment if organizers may face penalties for blocking the street.
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Alicia Olivarez, of Fresno, said the crowd was made of community members like herself who are trying to call attention to the city to remove ICE from working in the jail to deport the undocumented.
“We have a county that’s very collaborative with ICE relative to other counties,” she said.