Pro-immigrant protesters snarl New York City morning commute

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 26, 2016 11:14 AM

By David Ingram

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Protesters holding a pro-immigrant sign blocked lanes on the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York City on Wednesday, briefly halting traffic during the morning rush on the busiest U.S. bridge.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, said delays were as long as 90 minutes on the bridge's upper level on the city-bound side.

Ten protesters were arrested, Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said.

The protesters held a sign that read, "Deport ICE," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Coleman said.

The immigration agency oversees thousands of deportations weekly and has deported more than 2 million immigrants under Democratic President Barack Obama, more than under any previous administration.

Pictures posted on social media showed protesters clasping a banner that read, "Resist, organized, rise up!"

They began blocking east-bound traffic at about 8:15 a.m. and were removed from the roadway by 8:30, Coleman said. All lanes had reopened by 8:50, he said, adding that there were no injuries or property damage.

On social media, people recalled the "Bridgegate" lane closures at the same span in 2013. Two aides to New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie are on trial in connection with the scandal, charged with ordering traffic gridlock as pay back for a mayor who had declined to endorse Christie's reelection bid.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Toni Reinhold)