SPONSORED:

Democratic congresswoman: ‘I was proud to be arrested’ with immigration protesters

Democratic congresswoman: ‘I was proud to be arrested’ with immigration protesters
© Getty Images

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Poll shows Biden leading Trump, tight House race in key Nebraska district MORE (D-Wash.) said Saturday that she was "proud to be arrested" along with hundreds of other protesters on Capitol Hill this week, and would do it again in order to take a stand against President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE's immigration policies.

"I was proud to be arrested with them," she told The Hill. "The Trump administration is doing this and I as a Congress member, a representative of the United States government, refused to allow my name to be used in that way."

Jayapal’s arrest came Thursday at the “#WomenDisobey” protest, a sit-in organized by the Women’s March, the Center for Popular Democracy Action and CASA in Action.

ADVERTISEMENT

“That is how the republic works,” Jayapal said. “You have to be able to use a variety of tactics, from outside organizing in the streets, civil discipline mediums, peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience to internal organizing and advocacy on [Capitol] Hill.”

According to Capitol Police, approximately 575 people were arrested on Thursday.

The protesters blasted family separations at the border brought on by President Trump’s "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting anyone crossing the southern border illegally. Parents and children were detained separately as a result of the process.

Although Trump has signed an executive order ending the practice, the path to reunification for the more than 2,000 children who were separated remains cloudy.

Jayapal said she was “moved” by the family stories shared by the women.

“These are mothers, sisters, daughters, people who understand exactly what these women who brought their children here we're trying to do,” Jayapal said. “We're like mama bears with a cub, right? You have to protect our children and give us our babies.”

Jayapal noted that she joined a demonstration earlier this month, along with fellow Democratic lawmakers Reps. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), John LewisJohn LewisNY Times slammed for glowing Farrakhan op-ed: 'You would think he was a gentleman' Washington flooded with Women's March protesters ahead of Barrett confirmation vote HBCU in Alabama renames hall named after KKK leader MORE (Ga.) and Judy ChuJudy May ChuDHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Hispanic caucus report takes stock of accomplishments with eye toward 2021 Lawmakers of color blast Trump administration for reportedly instructing agencies to end anti-bias training MORE (Calif.) marching to the headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C.

"We were ready to be arrested," she said. "Certainly there are many Congress members who have been arrested in the past on immigration issues and will continue to because we all understand that staying silent is not an option."

Jayapal said she sees the family separation issue as a larger symptom of the U.S. immigration system, saying that the government should get rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and start over with a blank slate.

Other lawmakers have also joined the call to abolish ICE, including Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandInternal Democratic poll: Desiree Tims gains on Mike Turner in Ohio House race Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon Democrats question Amazon over reported interference of workers' rights to organize MORE (D-N.Y.).

Jayapal is one of the lawmakers attending this Saturday’s Washington, D.C., rally against family separations. More than 700 rallies are planned around the country and tens of thousands were expected to rally in the nation's capital.