FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Protesters lined the streets near the Washington County Jail Friday (Jan. 17) morning and to try to stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from picking up a person in jail.
Protesters were blocking an immigration bus from Louisiana from entering the gate. They say the bus was there to pick up Alan Rodriguez, and their protest was to show Rodriguez had support.
"If you are a believer of human rights, if you are a believer in keeping our community intact and families intact how do you not want to be here, how does your heart not break when you know families are being separated," said protester Simone Cottrell.
Kevin Rodriguez says his brother Alan was taken to jail in September for a criminal mischief charge, but he says the charges were dropped.
Alan was arrested for spray-painting "Love Yourself Fayetteville" on a trail tunnel and in Gordon Long Park. He was also arrested for public intoxication.
Kevin says he doesn't agree with his brother still being in Washington County Jail and now being transported to a holding facility in Louisiana.
"That’s just a waste of tax dollars and a lot of resources that the department could use," Kevin said.
Protesters lined the streets as Alan was supposed to be moved to Louisiana. The bus that came to pick up Alan pulled up to the facility but never entered the gates.
Protesters say they are now trying to figure out what will happen to Alan but they aren't getting any answers. Protesters also say they came out to raise awareness for the 28-7-G program. This program allows law enforcement officers to make arrests on behalf of ICE.
"It’s a shame that this is happening and we should all feel a little bit embarrassed that we are willing to allow small mistakes or people to not get their due process before their lives are flipped around or their families are separated," said protester Michelle Rodriguez.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office, as well as the Fayetteville Police Department, did not have any information on the protest.
Alan was transferred from the Washington County Detention Center sometime Friday afternoon, according to Equipo De Defensa Al Migrante.
Stay with 5NEWS for updates on this developing story.