Rep. Pramila Jayapal arrested during immigration protest in U.S. Senate building

Minnie Murray
June 30, 2018

Almost 600 people were arrested at a protest organized by Women's March in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators began marching outside of the Justice Department and a Senate building Thursday to oppose migrant family separations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The Trump administration's practice of separating families began last month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a "zero tolerance" policy under which all adults who cross the U.S. -Mexico border without passing through an official port of entry are prosecuted.

With the zero tolerance policy now in tatters, the women are turning to an even bigger target, demanding the abolition of ICE and for the release of all illegal immigrants from detention. "We can't let the Trump administration shift the blame or use families as bargaining chips for their inhumane policy agenda", Praeli said, calling for an "immediate reunification of parents and children and an end to this cruel policy".

Three U.S. congressmen were arrested past year for protesting President Trump's immigration policies, according to the Los Angeles Times.

She and others are undaunted after almost 600 women wearing white and railing against the now-abandoned separation policy were arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. With demonstrations emerging nationwide, immigrant advocacy groups say they're thrilled - and surprised - to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration. Some of the children, for example, have been sent to foster care agencies in New York City.

Since then, the USA government has reunited 538 children with their relatives, but more than 2,000 minors still remain separated, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security. Within 14 days, children under 5 were to be back with their parents, and within 30 days, children 5 and older were to be reunited with theirs.

"In the span of just six weeks, DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) separated almost 2,000 children from their parents". They have marched for women's rights but have never spearheaded a political rally, which isn't related to an 11-day vigil at an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland that led to arrests this week.

"We are here to say we're ready to sacrifice, and we're ready to leave our jobs, leave our families to come and take this act of civil disobedience here", Sarsour said. On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department filed papers in Los Angeles federal court seeking to have the families held together, indefinitely, in detention centers. We will build a country that reflects our values.

She said the rally is not the "end point" of this movement.

Event organizers include Families Belong Together San Francisco, Women's March San Francisco and Indivisible SF.

At the rally, Robert Burghduf of Allendale carried a sign that read "We Need to Fix our Moral Compass".

Immigrant advocacy groups say they're thrilled - and surprised - to see the issue gaining traction among those not tied to immigration. Pramila Jayapal of Washington - an immigrant herself - was among those arrested.

"I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of [criminal gangs]", Trump said on Twitter.

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