Protesters on both sides of immigration debate rally in San Bernardino

A protester stands in front of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services on Thursday. (Rick Sforza — Staff photographer)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
POSTED: 04/03/14, 4:46 PM PDT | UPDATED: 3 MINS AGO

About 80 protesters and 20 counter-protesters demonstrate in front of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services in San Bernardino on

Thursday. (Greg Cappis — Staff)

SAN BERNARDINO >> Protesters calling for an end to deportations and counterprotesters supporting current policy demonstrated Thursday afternoon in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.

About 80 protesters said the government was violating the TRUST Act, which prohibits local authorities from holding those with questionable immigration status longer than necessary to transfer them to federal immigration officials, unless they are suspected of committing serious or violent crimes.

They were set to include a symbolic “marriage” between actors portraying Sheriff John McMahon and an ICE official, officiated by “President Obama,” to illustrate what protesters say is too close of a relationship between them.

“The deportations and collaboration between immigration officials and local police are hitting us hard here in the Inland Empire,” Luis Nolasco, of the Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Inland Southern California, said in a prepared statement. “We can’t stand back and watch as our parents, children, neighbors, and friends continue to be deported every day, hardworking people with no criminal record and families to care for.”

About 20 counter-protesters from Claremont-based We the People Rising gathered “to show support for ICE and its fight against the illegal immigrants who are commiting crimes,” said Robin Hvidston, executive director of the group.