- A Jewish organization condemned Never Again Action on Friday for plans to protest outside a Florida detention facility run by The GEO Group.
- The Coalition for Jewish Values said the event is “a trivialization of the Holocaust and utterly contrary to authentic Jewish values.”
- GEO group told the DCNF that the “dishonest narrative and lies that are being spread about the services our company … has led to the endangerment of our employees.”
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) on Friday condemned plans by the Jewish anti-ICE group Never Again Action (NAA) to protest outside a detention facility in Boca Raton, Florida, on Monday.
NAA, which describes itself as “a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE” and aims to “never let anything like the Holocaust happen again,” is planning a protest with other activists of various faiths outside a private detention center run by The GEO Group.
The planned protest will come four days after a group of NAA members protested the ICE detention facility in Seattle.
We are singing Hinei Ma Tov inside of the ICE detention facility in Seattle. This song celebrates unity, family, and community. In short, the very values the US immigration system has trampled on. #CloseTheCamps#AbolishICE #NeverAgainIsNow pic.twitter.com/b6VLCfZuaX
— Never Again Action (@NeverAgainActn) August 8, 2019
CJV, which represents over 1,000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, called the event “a trivialization of the Holocaust and utterly contrary to authentic Jewish values.”
“The dishonest narrative and lies that are being spread about the services our company provides is based on the same false rhetoric that has led to the endangerment of our employees, of government employees, and the public,” a spokesperson for GEO told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
“We have been a trusted service provider to the federal government for over three decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations, and in that time, we have never played a role in setting immigration policy nor have we ever advocated for or against immigration enforcement policies,” the spokesperson continued.
“Like all Americans, we’re concerned about the unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border. While policymakers deliberate on the best way to address this monumental challenge, we will continue to provide the highest standard of humane residential care at all of our facilities,” the spokesperson concluded.
Charlie Nolan, a location NAA organizer, told the Sun Sentinel that GEO is “one of the major cogs in the deportation machine.”
“Nationwide, Jews are speaking out about this issue, and as South Florida has a huge Jewish community, we need to raise our voices, too,” Nolan continued. “If you are a Jewish person, a community leader, a rabbi, a lay leader, get in contact with Never Again Action and do your part because we need you.”
He added that part of the reason NAA is protesting GEO “is because part of the goal of Never Again Action is to make day-to-day operations impossible for ICE to prevent them from doing the evil work that they are doing. What we’re trying to do is bring awareness that GEO is here in our backyard.”
CJV Eastern Regional Vice President Rabbi Steven Pruzansky said the protest planned for Monday is “offensive in so many ways that one loses count” in a Friday statement.
“It maligns the targeted company and its employees, defames ICE agents, displays woeful ignorance of history, trivializes and distorts the Holocaust, and is a vulgar insult to six million murdered Jews and the survivors of that horror. The fact that many of the protesters will be Jewish themselves merely makes it worse,” Pruzansky continued.
News of the protest comes days after the largest ICE raid in decades on Aug. 8 during which 680 illegal immigrants were arrested across the state of Mississippi.
— Never Again Action (@NeverAgainActn) August 9, 2019
It also comes about a month after approximately 1,000 Jews with NAA, alongside immigrants and activists, protested outside ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to shut down its office for several hours.
Apprehensions at the U.S. southern border have reached record numbers. The month of May alone more than 144,000 apprehensions and inadmissible encounters and the largest single apprehension in history with 1,036 migrants caught near El Paso, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
“At this point right now … we have really no other choice but to use our enforcement statutory authority to identify where these individuals are and remove them. President Trump’s executive order has made it clear: No class of individual is exempt from our federal immigration statutes,” ICE Acting Director Mark Morgan told reporters in June.
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