‘Say it loud’: Women march through Washington to protest immigration practices

"Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here", the crowd of about 500 protesters, including many white-clad women, chanted as they began marching down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the U.S. Department of Justice.

Amid unrelenting daily images of distraught immigrant children separated from parents and herded into fenced enclosures, women sat on the floor of the Senate Hart Office building's 90-foot-high atrium.

The mass protest was one of several demonstrations that erupted across the country, providing a taste of what is expected to be much larger demonstrations on Saturday called by the Women's March and the Center for Popular Democracy.

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

In conjunction with the protests, some progressive activists and Democratic lawmakers have called for the dismantling of ICE.

United States Capitol Police charged almost 575 individuals with "unlawfully demonstrating", according to a Capitol Police statement Thursday.

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Many wore foil blankets similar to those given to migrants housed at United States detention facilities. They were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on charges of "crowdinig, obstructing, or incommoding".

"I'm proud to have been arrested with them to put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States is better", Jayapal said in a video on Twitter. "These women.they understand that it is far beyond politics, this is about right and wrong and we have to stand up".

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. Kirsten Gillibrand also appeared at the demonstration, calling it "an awesome protest of women speaking out to be heard". "These folks are out here fighting for the core principles of our nation, and I applaud them for it", Merkley said in an interview. Trump signed an executive order last week halting the separations.

The sit-in came two days after another show of liberal political energy in which 28-year-old political neophyte Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousted 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary for his House seat in NY.

Dozens of people shut down a government meeting in MI in protest of a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement 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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