House Democrat, Nearly 575 Others Arrested Protesting Border Policy Inside Senate Building

A protester cheers as she is arrested as women protest the separation of immigrant families, Thursday, June 28, 2018, in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

A Democratic Congresswoman was among the approximately 575 people arrested Thursday at a rally protesting the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted on Thursday that she was proud to be arrested while protesting the separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I was just arrested with 500+ women and @WomensMarch to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue,” tweeted Jayapal.

“Not in our country. Not in our name. June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” she added.

Jayapal says she and other protesters were “here to fight for our families to be free, to fight for the ability of our kids to be with their parents — not in cages, not in prison, but able to live their lives free, safe and secure.” The Washington State Democrat and others were charged with unlawful demonstration for obstructing others in a public place.

A Capitol Hill Police spokesman said arrested protesters were processed on the scene and released.

Hundreds of demonstrators protesters at a Hart Senate Office Building to protest the Trump administration’s now-rescinded policy of separating migrant families at the southern border.

Many protesters in the atrium of the Hart Senate building wore foil blankets similar to those given to migrants housed at U.S. detention facilities.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stood alongside protesters and pumped their fists amid chants of “What do we want? Free families” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Winnie Wong, a political adviser for the liberal National Women’s March, predicted the protest would translate into “the energy we will need to see to at the ballot box in November.”

Democrat lawmakers are proposing legislation directed at giving them more access to government shelters housing immigrant children. Rep. Joaquin Castro (R-TX) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) co-sponsored the proposal released Thursday. The bill would require “immediate access” for any member of Congress to a federal facility unless national security restrictions applied.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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