Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives, has been arrested during a protest against the Trump administration’s “inhumane” “zero-tolerance” border policy.
The administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the US border resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry.
Jayapal, 52, was arrested along with over 500 other women at Capitol Hill yesterday.
“I just got arrested with a group of over 500 women who took over the center of the Hart Senate Building, protesting the inhumane and cruel zero-tolerance policy of Donald Trump and this administration, the separation of families, the caging of children, the imprisonment of asylum seekers,” Jayapal said.
She was arrested on the floor of the Hart Senate Office Building for a sit-in as part of their civil disobedience action.
“These women understand, they’re from all over the country…they understand that this is far beyond politics, this is about right and wrong. We have to step up and put ourselves on the line,” said Jayapal who was elected to the House of Representatives from Washington State in 2016.
“Not in our country. Not in our name. June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” she said.
“I’m proud to have been arrested with them to put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States of America is better,” Jayapal said in a video posted on Twitter.
Jayapal, the only Indian-American woman so far elected to House of Representatives, is seeking a re-election in the mid-term elections later this year.
She was the first member of Congress to visit a federal prison where parents were separated from their children.
During her visit, she had heard horror stories by men and women who came to the border seeking asylum.
According to reports, more than 500 people were arrested by the Capitol Police when they were having their sit-in protest at the Senate Hart Office building. They were charged with an unlawful demonstration. The protestors were soon released.
Hundreds of people across the country are scheduled to protest against the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy in rallies organised by a coalition led by the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance tomorrow.
The public outcry in the wake of images and stories of the children caught in the middle of Trump’s immigration policy has sparked fierce debate in the US.