U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal outside the SeaTac Federal Detention Center, where a group of asylum seekers are currently held.
Enlarge Icon
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal outside the SeaTac Federal Detention Center, where a group of asylum seekers are currently held.
Credit: Daniel Berman for KUOW

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

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) was arrested on Thursday during an immigration protest held on the floor of a Senate office building in Washington, D.C.

About 575 people, mostly women, were charged with demonstrating unlawfully. They were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on charges of "crowdinig, obstructing, or incommoding." They were processed and being released, according to Capitol Police, a D.C. agency.

The protest, organized by the Women's March and the Center for Popular Democracy, mobilized to speak out against the "inhumane and cruel" zero-tolerance policy of the Trump administration that has led to family separation and children in cages, Jayapal said.

"I'm proud to have been arrested with them," Jayapal said in a Twitter video after her arrest. "To put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States of America is better. And as a member of Congress, I refuse to let this president and this administration do what they are doing to children, to parents, to asylum seekers in my name."

Reuters reported that the women protesters, clad in white, occupied the floor of the Hart Senate building and wrapped themselves in foil blankets, a reference to the conditions of migrant children sleeping in detention centers.

Jayapal also highlighted another action taking place this Saturday, June 30, to advocate for the rights of asylum seekers.

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

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) were dragged away during a protest in front of Trump Tower. The protest focused on Dreamers, those young people who came to the U.S. as children.