Establishing a small encampment for a possibly prolonged occupation, protesters have gathered outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Center City to demand an end to the agency's policies and cooperation between the city of Philadelphia and ICE.
Several hundred protesters gathered at the site at Eighth and Cherry Streets late Monday afternoon, with several dozen remaining there into Tuesday morning.
Despite withering heat, participants erected several tents and resisted attempts by police to move them away from the ICE office. The protesters played drums and listed to speeches on bullhorns. Police, whose headquarters are just across the street, reported no arrests.
Protesters were still there with lawn chairs and umbrellas Tuesday morning, blocking the door to ICE's office. Those participating have requested supplies to withstand the heat, including water, ice, sunscreen and battery-powered fans.
In a statement, organizers demanded that Mayor Kenney discontinue a contract that allows ICE to access the city's criminal-records database. The current contract ends Aug. 31, organizers said.
They also called on Gov. Wolf to take steps to shut down an immigration detention facility in Berks County.
The ICE office on Eighth Street has become a magnet for protests since the controversy erupted over the Trump administration's policy of separating parents from their children at the nation's southern border. Last week, six people were arrested at a demonstration and received citations for failing to disperse.
After Trump signed an executive order barring separation, protests have continued nationwide to push for family reunification and immigration reform. "Families Belong Together" demonstrations occurred in more than 600 cities, including Philadelphia, on Saturday.
Nineteen senior ICE investigators have also called for the elimination of the agency in a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.