NEW BRUNSWICK NJ–On January 30, community members and immigrant rights supporters gathered together at the corner of George Street and Livingston Avenue to raise their voices against the recent U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that have been taking place across the country.

As we have previously reported, New Brunswick resident German Nieto was taken into custody by ICE agents on January 5, after they broke into his home looking for an unknown person and pointing guns at his family.

According to the event created on the Facebook page of the community group “ICE Free NJ,” the protest was a call for the release of German Nieto, as well as to stop the “ICE’s intimidating presence in our communities.”

Nina Macapinlac, a member of “Anakbayan NJ,” a Philippine youth and student organization from Jersey City, said that they came to participate in the protest because they “wanted to stand in solidarity with the communities in New Brunswick as well as the communities over New Jersey that have been affected by the ICE raids.”

“We recognize that the spike in ICE raids is not an isolated incident it is something that has been affecting immigrant communities across the country for such a long time,” she said.

Activists, students and community members were present to support the protest. “No human is illegal!” they chanted and gave speeches demanding the ICE to back off of the violent practices against immigrants.

Manuel Droz is a Puerto Rican who came to the U.S. to serve as merchant marine of the American nation many years ago.

Droz lives in New Brunswick and even though he has the American citizenship he supported the protest because he knows what suffering discrimination is like.

“I have suffered discrimination by governmental agencies because I speak Spanish and that made me keep fighting for the rights of my Latino brothers,” he said.

“In reality, it is something big that, at this point, no justice has been attained by political parties that come to power saying that they will make a reform and do nothing.”