A handful of people were arrested and issued citations Friday morning after a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Philadelphia Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Center City.
The group, which calls itself Elders and Friends Standing With Immigrant Children and Their Parents, blocked access to the office at Eighth and Cherry Streets for about two hours, until police took action, said the group's spokesman, Jack Malinowski.
"I can't stress how upset many of us are," Malinowski said after the demonstration. "We represent the tip of the iceberg, who feel like our country has crossed the line, our government crossed the line."
Six people were arrested after receiving several warnings to unblock the door, Philadelphia police said. They were issued citations for "failure to disperse" and released.
"I think partly there is a sort of movement of elders," said Mark Lyons, 75, of Mount Airy, who said he was one of the individuals issued the citation and who paid a $50 fee.
City Councilwoman Helen Gym shared photos and videos from the event, showing one man carrying a sign that read "Abolish ICE" while a small group held a banner that read, "Reunite Families."
"Each and every one of us has a responsibility to speak out at a time when our democracy and our humanity is at risk," Gym said in a statement. "I'm deeply grateful to the elder activists and heroes who were arrested this morning in front of ICE."
The demonstration comes amid a national outcry over the more than 2,000 children separated from families while trying to cross into the United States. While President Trump's administration abandoned the family-separation policy last week, protests across the nation, including in Philadelphia, are planned for Saturday to call for the end of all forms of family detention.
An additional demonstration called "Stop ICE" is slated for Monday at City Hall.
Malinowski said Friday's rally won't be the group's last.
"We are so upset by the cruelty shown to children and families," he said. "We wanted to make a strong statement."
Staff writer Michael Boren contributed to this article.