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HIAS Statement on Attack on ICE Protesters in Rhode Island

Silver Spring, MD– Yesterday, a group of protesters were hit by a truck as they peacefully protested against immigration detention conditions around the country. As can be seen in this video, as they sat in front of the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island, the driver of the truck plowed directly into them. Following that, correction officers used pepper spray, forcing the protesters to disperse. As a result of both actions, several were hospitalized for minor injuries. 

In response to the violence in Rhode Island, Mark Hetfield, HIAS’ President and CEO, said, “One of the cornerstones of our democracy is the right to peacefully protest. Nobody should have to fear that they will be mowed down simply for showing up to protest against policies with which they disagree. We condemn the use of violence as an intimidation tool. We remain as committed as ever in joining others in the Jewish community in opposition to U.S. policies that dehumanize immigrants and ignore our legal obligations to allow those searching for safety to seek asylum in our country.”