Feb 17: Community organizer and Human Rights Activist Karol Ruiz, far left, shouts in front of the Essex County Jail in an orange jumpsuit often worn by those in detention centers. Claudia Usma, far right, drapes an American Flag around her neck and stands side by side other activists. The event was sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, and Wind of the Spirit - Immigration Resource Center.
Feb 17: Addressing the crowd at the protest, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale issued a challenge to President Obama."President Obama, you can’t force Congress to reform [the immigration system], but can you please guide your federal agency in a way that is more consistent with justice and peace," said Kaper-Dale to cheers and applause. "At the moment, there are lots of families being ruined in the wake of your destructive storm."
Feb 17: Activist Claudia Usma, right, helps to lead the protest that traveled 3 miles from the federal building in Newark, NJ to the Essex County jail.
Feb 17: Jennifer Dominguez, 17, wears a green Mexican World Cup soccer jersey that was given to her by her father. Her father is currently inside the Essex County jail behind her and he told her to wear the jersey so that he could spot Dominguez from his window. He has been in custody since August on criminal charges, she says are completely false, and is awaiting a deportation trial in late February.
Feb 17: Carol Gay stands proud in front of the Essex County Jail with a sign given to her that says "Don't Detain. Don't Deport. Keep Families Together."
Feb 17: David Toledo leads a portion of the protest as they walk by a store front named "America Translation." Toledo was the most vocal of the group shouting things such as, "Education not Deportation," "Families not Detention," "People United will Never Be Defeated," and more.
Activists rallied and marched against a plan that could use an Essex County jail to house up to 2,700 undocumented immigrants in federal custody.