BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 24 Seven immigration
activists were arrested in Alabama on Monday after blocking the
entrance to a facility where the federal government houses
immigrants it plans to deport.
The activists chained themselves to the front doors of the
Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama, to protest
immigrant deportations, according to an immigrants rights group,
the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
Dozens of other protesters gathered at the detention center.
The seven were arrested for failing to obey the local sheriff's
department orders to leave, said Etowah Country Sheriff Todd
Entrekin in a statement.
Immigration rights advocates in Alabama have increasingly
complained about the center, a federal facility where people
held on immigration charges await deportation.
"I personally know the feeling of being separated from
family by deportation because my father was deported," said
David Comparan, one of the activists who was arrested.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said
many of the detainees at Etowah are brought from out of state
and their arrests are not tied to Alabama's immigration law,
which is widely considered the most stringent in the country.
(Reporting by Verna Gates; Editing by Kevin Gray and Gunna