'Choose People Over Profits': Never Again Action Fights ICE Detention Center in Rhode Island

Activists with Never Again Action Rhode Island plan to take their second action in four days Monday evening to stop a local prison from locking in its agreement with ICE.

Demonstrators from Never Again and the Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance (AMOR) on Friday shut down a meeting of the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation board of directors, chanting and singing in protest. The groups plan to do the same thing on Monday. 

It’s the latest front in a struggle between activists and President Donald Trump’s war on immigrants that’s roiled the city of Central Falls in the small New England state through the summer. 

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Protesters stopped the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation board from discussing a forbearance agreement between the Wyatt Detention Facility and UMB Bank that, according to The Boston Globe, “would cut out city oversight and lock in a contract for ICE detainees.”

“We the people of Rhode Island will not allow UMB Bank to use our state to make profits by dehumanizing our immigrant brothers and sisters,” Never Again organizer Fil Eden said Friday. “Never again means never again—for everyone.”

As Common Dreams reported Monday, profiteering from ICE detention is a big business. Decades of billion-dollar contracts have created what researchers at the Transnational Institute called in a report the “border-industrial complex.” The political and economic power of the border security industry makes protests like Friday’s an uphill battle. 

The groups declared their intention to stop discussion again on Monday.

“On Friday, we made our voices heard loud and clear: we will not stand idly by and allow unaccountable, out-of-state bondholders to profit off of the inhumane treatment of detainees in Rhode Island,” the groups said. “We also promised that we’d be back.”