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ICE office in Portland closed another day

June 21, 2018 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland was closed again Thursday because of a demonstration against Trump administration immigration policies.

Agency spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell said people who had appointments scheduled at the office will be contacted by deportation officers to have their meetings rescheduled. The appointments will not be reported as missed check-ins.

Cutrell declined to say how many people work at the Portland office, or if they have been working from home since it was closed Wednesday because of security concerns.

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The demonstration began Sunday, with protesters calling for an end to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in which all unlawful border crossings are referred for prosecution.

The protesters calling themselves Occupy ICE PDX hope their round-the-clock action sparks similar demonstrations nationwide.

“It’s not time to wait for politicians, it’s not time to wait for leaders,” activist Jacob Bureros told The Oregonian/OregonLive . “The future of this country, the history of this country, is being written right now, and what goes down is going to be up to us. It’s up to us to take this fight and to win it.”

The occupation appeared to include a few hundred people, and tents were lined up outside. Signs such as “Refugees Welcome” and “abolish ICE” were taped throughout the property including on the walls of the ICE building.

Authorities have not said when employees might return to work.

“We’ll make sure the building is safe and secure,” said Rob Sperling, a spokesman for the Federal Protective Service. “But as long as the individuals are demonstrating, which is their right, we’re going to let them do it — as long as it remains peaceful.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a critic of President Donald Trump, said in a series of tweets Wednesday that ICE won’t get help from city police if it wants to evict protesters.

“I want to be very clear I do not want the @PortlandPolice to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track,” Wheeler wrote.