Troy Osaki, 26, center, and Yaara Zaslow, right, listen to speakers as hundreds, including immigrants and members of the Jewish community, gathered on Thursday, August 8, 2019, to protest outside of Seattle's downtown ICE offices on 2nd Avenue. 
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Troy Osaki, 26, center, and Yaara Zaslow, right, listen to speakers as hundreds, including immigrants and members of the Jewish community, gathered on Thursday, August 8, 2019, to protest outside of Seattle's downtown ICE offices on 2nd Avenue.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

'Never again is now.' Jewish leaders protest ICE in Seattle

Hundreds gathered in protest on Thursday outside of Seattle's downtown immigration court office.

Jewish leaders joined immigrant advocates to call for an end to immigration policies they say are inhumane.

The group gathered outside Seattle’s immigration court on 2nd Avenue where deportation cases are decided.

"My great-grandparents came from Eastern Europe," said Emma Klein, one of the activists who tried to shut down access to the office. Jews in Eastern Europe were nearly decimated in the Holocaust during World War II by Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime. Those who weren't killed, fled.

"It has a very personal feeling for me because in my bones, I know how wrong and terrifying it is to leave your home and potentially not be welcomed," she said.

Klein said officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security threatened her and other activists with federal charges. She says they did not specify the charges but the group opted to leave instead.

ICE said it “fully respects the Constitutional rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions."

The Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review did not immediately return a request for comment.