Protestors Arrested After Demanding Immigration Reform at Office
CENTERVILLE, Utah – A group that considers themselves concerned citizens locked themselves together in the lobby of the Management & Training Corporation in Centerville Thursday morning. MTC is a privately owned business that operates correctional facilities, detention centers and other things.
The protesters demanded MTC shut down their immigrant detention centers, and they hoped to highlight how they say the company profits from deportation, detention, and the separation of families.
“We see this as the belly of the beast. This is where all of the orders go out of and we want to hold them accountable, as well as alert our fellow community members about what’s going on,” said Taylor Goldstein, the media liaison for the protesters.
MTC released a statement saying it does operate three detention centers for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, but only houses adults and is not involved in policies. A spokesperson added it would have been more effective for protesters to express their concerns directly to ICE or their elected officials.
“While our hearts go out to anyone separated from their family because of policy that had since been reversed, we have no authority or say in these matters,” said Issa Arnita, MTC Spokesperson.
The protest ended peacefully with the eight arrests after about four hours. Multiple police agencies responded. Officers said the MTC employees were safe.
“We do encourage people to protest where they want to protest other than private property. They need to do it in a legal place. First Amendment Right is something we all enjoy. We encourage them to that. It has to be done at a legal place,” said Lt. Zan Robison, the Public Information Officer for Centerville City Police Department.
These protesters say they expected arrests. They hoped to make a statement and build momentum for future protests.