Five activists were arrested on August 12th outside the Southwest Key Detention Center as part of a large protest demanding dignity and an end to detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants 

September 25, 2019, HOUSTON, TX—Five Jewish activists in Houston appeared in court yesterday on charges of obstructing a highway, a Class B misdemeanor that carries up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The charges were dismissed after the protesters agreed to complete eight hours of community service. 

The members of the group Never Again Action were arrested on August 12th during a demonstration outside the Southwest Key Detention Center in which they blocked traffic on Emancipation Avenue. The action was part of a wave of protests across the country in accordance with Tisha B’Av, the Jewish holiday of mourning. Also represented at the action were Bayou Action Street Health, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Houston, Free Los Niños Coalition, Indivisible-Houston, MORENA, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Refuse Fascism. It was the second such demonstration outside Southwest Key by Never Again Action; the first was on July 21st.

Never Again Action joins other Houston immigrants’ rights organizers in demanding a stop to the detainment of minors at the Southwest Key facility, an end to raids, detention, deportation, and dignity and permanent protection for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The protest was a way to "demonstrate with our voices and bodies that we will not stand by as the systemic dehumanization against migrants continues to unfold in our country," co-organizer Elizabeth Haberer told the Houston Chronicle following the action.

Never Again Action has released the following statement:

“Six months in jail was a sacrifice we were willing to make to end the inhumane conditions and indefinite detention that undocumented folks face in this country. The fact that our charges were dismissed, while the children inside remain detained, is a testament to how differently the system treats people who look like us than it does the immigrants it detains indefinitely and rips away from their families simply because they lack a piece of paper. It was a conscious choice for us to risk detention but that is not the case for so many others. We will continue coming back until there are no more minors detained at the Southwest Key Detention Center, ICE has been shut down, detention and deportation of undocumented people has ended, and all 11 million undocumented immigrants have been granted permanent protection. As Jews, our history has taught us what happens when people do nothing; we are heeding the message of our ancestors when we say #NeverAgainIsNow.”


Never Again Action is a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling both the deportation machine that has separated immigrant families across the U.S. for decades and the current crisis at the border.

We come together as a group of differently affiliated Jewish organizers, recognizing that we have seen this groundwork laid before. We understand it to be our community’s obligation to stand up when we see history repeat itself and to declare that Never Again means Never Again for anybody.

Alyssa Rubin