Hundreds of protesters gathered in Aurora on Friday evening to march to the ICE detention facility where illegal and undocumented immigrants are being housed. They also removed the U.S. flag, replaced it with a Mexican flag, and spray painted graffiti on a Blue Lives Matter flag before it was seen flying upside down on the flag pole.
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This comes before planned ICE raids in Denver and 10 other cities nationwide.
The protesters say they are demonstrating against the treatment of the people living inside. The Blue Lives Matter flag was vandalized with “Abolish ICE” in spray paint.
The original flags outside the ICE facility, including the U.S. flag and Colorado flag were placed on the flag poles after the crowd dispersed. The Mexican flag and spray painted Blue Lives Matter flag were removed.
The immigration raids are set to happen this weekend. They were initially ordered by Pres. Donald Trump last month but he delayed the action by two weeks.
Some people in Denver have sought sanctuary in churches to avoid being detained by ICE.
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In anticipation of the raids, Denver city officials and immigrant rights groups are sharing information about the law with people facing deportation orders.
ICE had originally planned to arrest and deport families in 10 cities in late June, according to a senior immigration official. In addition to Denver, the raids were expected in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco. Operations are now expected to begin in all of those cities on Sunday except for New Orleans, which is currently being impacted by tropical storm Barry.
The planned candlelight vigil was called off due to concerns about safety.