Capitol Police say they have arrested about 575 people protesting President Trump's immigration policy at the Senate office building.
The protest, organized by a coalition of organizations including the Women's March and local immigrant advocacy group Casa de Maryland, was meant to demand the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an end to family detentions for migrants crossing the southern border.
They're joined by dozens of other organizations lending a hand, too, per the Families Belong Together website. At one point, Merkley donned a foil sheet as he gave a TV interview.
"So I just got arrested with a group of, I don't know exactly how many, but over 500 women, at least 500 women, who took over the Center of the Heart Senate Building", she stated.
The protest was organized and promoted by Women's March, the same group that mounted a massive protest effort a year ago shortly after President Donald Trump took office.
Capitol Police warned protesters that if they did not leave the building they would be arrested.
Democratic lawmaker Pramila Jayapal said she was among those arrested "who took over the center of the Hart Senate Building protesting the inhumane and cruel zero-tolerance policy of Donald Trump and this administration". So did the Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Edward Markey of MA.
Under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, the government has begun prosecuting all migrants caught entering the country without authorization.
Trump's critics have blasted the executive order he signed allowing children to stay with their detained parents, saying incarceration of an entire family is also wrong.
And dozens of protesters shut down a government meeting in MI in protest against a contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agency to house detainees at a local jail. The protesters were arrested for demonstrating inside the building, according to two police officers.
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