OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — One group of metro activists is evoking imagery from the Holocaust era.
A spokesperson for the Kansas City area chapter of Never Again Action said immigration detainee camps along the Mexican border are no different than concentration camps used by the Nazi party.
A gathering of that group’s members staged a Thursday protest in Overland Park, using the front door of U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ office as their platform.
As many as 25 members of that group were there for six hours, holding a large sign that read “Abolish ICE.”
Never Again Action’s local leader, Bob Hoffman, told FOX4 the protest centered around Davids’ support for House Bill 3401 that she voted in favor of in late June. That piece of legislation was meant to contribute $4.6 billion to provide humanitarian relief for people in those camps.
Never Again Action’s members voiced their dissatisfaction with Davids’ vote, claiming the federal money merely keeps the camps open.
“I have not seen my mother,” said a young recorded voice, bursting from a public address bullhorn during the protest.
“It`s patriotism to let people in. Not to shut people out,” another protester shouted.
“We`re here because our representative is one of the Democrats who voted for this bill,” Hoffman told FOX4.
Hoffman was one of many activists who formed a human blockade in front of Davids’ office door, stopping the public from entering the building.
Overland Park police were on hand, keeping an eye on one protester who made it inside the office. Officers on the scene said she wasn’t under arrest of any kind, but she refused to peacefully leave the premises.
Protesters said they were dismayed by Davids’ support for that bill.
“We know that people have died in the camps. There`s no health care. Food and water is scarce. People are treated like animals there. We want to shut down that system,” Hoffman said. “A concentration camp becomes a death camp when people don`t intervene. We are here to intervene.”
“She was supposed to be a progressive voice, and all of my friends in Kansas who voted for her were pretty excited they had someone to speak on their behalf,” Valorie Engholm, another protester, said. “To me, it`s just a compromise. It`s not going to lead to better conditions.”
On Thursday morning, Davids tweeted her support for a separate bill intended to set humanitarian standards for people in those camps.
Davids spokesperson released the following statement to FOX4 Thursday evening:
“Representative Davids has long opposed this Administration’s needlessly cruel treatment of families at the border, including separating children and families and keeping them in mass detention centers with little access to basic necessities. Representative Davids respects the rights of all constituents to peacefully protest and make their voices heard. She is listening and always appreciates hearing from her constituents.”