A woman threw a lit Molotov cocktail into the lobby of a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Oakland Park, Florida on Friday. No one was injured, according to a report sent to Trump administration officials and seen by the Associated Press.
The woman walked into the office on Friday afternoon and threw a bottle filled with gasoline. A lit fuse disconnected from the bottle and the device did not ignite, according to the report.
Law enforcement officials believe the woman intended to cause harm but the incident was not related to other recent instances in which homeland security agencies were targeted.
Earlier this month in San Antonio, Texas, at least one vehicle pulled up to a building that houses offices for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Ice, and a gunman fired shots through a window, FBI officials said. No one was injured. Another building used by Ice was also fired on.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the agency, which handles legal immigration, said in a tweet the incident was “another example of the use of violence in place of debate by those who oppose the proper application of our immigration laws”.
Security officers handcuffed the woman and she was taken into custody by Federal Protective Service officers. Court documents said the incident was captured on video.
The woman, Cellicia Hunt, was charged with maliciously attempting to damage or destroy a government building by fire, according to court records. The 35-year-old was expected to appear in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday.
She was being held without bail in a local jail on Saturday and it was not immediately clear if she had an attorney.
No one was injured, though one person reported feeling ill from the smell of gasoline. The office was closed.
The incident came amid federal investigators’ growing concerns about attacks on immigration agencies during a time of heightened emotion and scrutiny, as Donald Trump tries to move ahead with major changes and energize his base by delivering on campaign promises.
Cuccinelli, who backs Trump’s hardline immigration policies, has presided over recent changes that have drawn criticism.
One could deny green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. Cuccinelli has also defended changes to a long-standing agreement that governs how children cared for in government custody and how long they can be detained.