NEWARK, N.J. (AP/CBSNewYork) — Immigration advocacy groups waving signs and dressed in orange prison jumpsuits marched more than three miles across Newark today to protest a proposed immigration detention facility that will likely be built in New Jersey.

Steve Sandberg With Angry Protesters in Newark

Chants of “education, not deportation” could be heard from the crowd. “That is entirely unfair, unjust, and inhumane,” one protester shouted. Another cried, “detention is never the best way,” 1010 WINS” Steve Sandberg reported.

“They are going to try to build a jail here in Newark … to criminalize the immigrant community,” rally organizer Jorge Torres told WCBS880’s Levon Putney.

Protest Organizer Shares His Feelings With Levon Putney

Federal immigration officials said December that the details of a service agreement were being worked out for a 2,700-bed facility in Essex County. A spokesman for Essex County said this week the agreement has not yet been finalized.

The protesters marched from Newark’s federal building to the Essex County Correctional Facility. The existing detention facility there will likely be expanded to accommodate additional detainees.

Protest organizers say there are more humane and cost-effective solutions to immigrant detention, such as releasing people to their families while they await legal proceedings.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

Watch & Listen LIVE