Protesters angry that President Joe Biden has not moved fast enough on immigration issues disrupted a Thursday speech in which Biden celebrated his first 100 days as president.
Biden was in full speech mode during a rally at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia, when protesters interrupted, calling out, “End detention now.”
“We’ll give you a microphone,” Biden replied.
“Communities, not cages,” the protesters chanted back.
Although Biden sought to continue his speech, the protesters soon drowned him out, chanting “Abolish ICE” — a reference to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
One protester called out, “I voted for you,” and another shouted, “End private detention centers now.”
Biden sought to regain control of the event as the “Abolish ICE” chant continued.
“I agree with you,” the president said. “I’m working on it, man. Give me another five days.”
While the protesters were mostly focused on the administration’s handling of migrants, Biden singled out the comment about private detention centers.
“Folks, you all know what they’re talking about. There should be no private prisons, period,” he said. “None. Period. That’s what they’re talking about. Private detention centers. They should not exist. And we are working to close all of them.”
As security came to remove the protesters, Biden said, “Let them go.”
As the outburst continued, the president had one more comment to the group.
“I promise you, the only thing that’s going to keep me from doing that is if you keep moving,” he said.
Biden then returned to his speech as the protesters chanted, “Our families are dying.”
After the event, when asked about the protesters, the president said he was “teasing them” about acting within five days, according to the New York Post.
Biden has called for the Justice Department to reduce its use of private prisons for individuals facing federal sentences, according to The Hill.
However, the Biden presidency has also become synonymous with overcrowded detention centers operated by federal agencies that house illegal immigrants who have flooded across the border.
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