Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Thousands of women are protested in Washington, D.C. on Thursday against the Trump administration's immigration policy, including the forcible separation of families. (Photo: @womensmarch/Twitter)

#WomenDisobey: Hundreds of Demonstrators Arrested on Capitol Hill for Protesting Cruel Child, Family Detention

"The mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of America will not stand down until the imprisoned children are released and reunited with their families. And we will not stay silent as federal enforcers indefinitely incarcerate whole families in detention camps."

Julia Conley

This post has been updated.

Hundreds of women were arrested on Thursday at a mass demonstration in Washington, D.C., rallying against the Trump administration's continued separation of families and the criminalization of asylum seekers at the southern U.S. border.

Wrapping themselves in foil blankets like those seen in images of children's detention centers, nearly 600 protesters were arrested and charged with unlawfully demonstrating at the Hart Senate Office Building starting at around 3:15pm.

Earlier, the women had shut down streets surrounding Capitol Hill, chanting, "We care!" in reference to First Lady Melania Trump's recent clothing choice while traveling to visit a detention center in Texas.

They also made stops outside the Trump International Hotel and marched past the Department of Justice, where police officers guarded the doors.

11:15am, Thursday, June 28

President Donald Trump's signing of an executive order to end immigration officials' separation of families has done nothing to quell the nationwide outrage over his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy—with the Women's March holding a major act of civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. on Thursday ahead of actions planned across the country this weekend.

According to organizer Winnie Wong, thousands of women are expected to protest in the nation's capital, demanding that Trump stop criminalizing asylum seekers and calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be abolished.

"Trump's latest effort to fan the flames of intolerance and xenophobia, by cruelly ripping young immigrant children from the arms of their parents, has shocked the conscience of America," wrote Wong in The Guardian. "You don't have to be a parent to be appalled by the screams of toddlers as they are forcibly separated from their parents, but millions of mothers and fathers have been particularly horrified in a way that only parents can be as they watch these grotesque and inhumane family separations."

The executive order Trump signed last week ordered ICE to stop separating families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border, but more than 2,000 children remain separated from their parents and guardians under the president's "zero tolerance" policy. The order also continues the policy of prosecuting adults who cross the border without going through a port of entry, and stipulates that families will now be detained together indefinitely.

"The mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of America will not stand down until the imprisoned children are released and reunited with their families," Wong wrote. "And we will not stay silent as federal enforcers indefinitely incarcerate whole families in detention camps. We will put our bodies on the line to demand an end to the Trump administration's 'zero-tolerance' policy that automatically criminalizes undocumented immigrants."

The protests come as the #OccupyICE movement spreads across the country, with Trump opponents blocking the entrances to ICE facilities in states including Oregon, California, and New York. Some local governments have also opted to end their cooperation with ICE, cutting off multi-million dollar contracts with the agency as officials grow increasingly alarmed at the president's policy and reports of ICE's treatment of immigrants and Latino communities.

"It just felt inherently unjust for Sacramento to make money from dealing with ICE," Phil Serna, a Sacramento County supervisor, told the New York Times of his decision to cancel the city's contract. "For me, it came down to an administration that is extremely hostile to immigrants. I didn't feel we should be part of that."

The Women's March action also comes two days before nationwide demonstrations that the Families Belong Together coalition has planned for Saturday.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

UN Chief Reminds Leaders of Need for 'Clear and Unambiguous Commitment' to 1.5°C

"There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20," he said after a disagreement over a climate communiqué.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Climate Change Is Here,' Says Oregon Governor, 'And We Have to Take Action'

As wildfires devour her state, the Democrat declares that the climate emergency is "like a hammer hitting us in the head."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Hello Somebody!' Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Campaigns for Nina Turner in Cleveland

"I think it's extremely clear that Nina Turner is the candidate in this race that answers to the people of Ohio first and foremost."

Jessica Corbett ·

Medicare for All Advocates Take to the Streets of Over 50 US Cities

"How can we have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when we live in constant fear of illness, bankruptcy, or homelessness because of the outrageous for-profit healthcare system?"

Jessica Corbett ·

Thousands Join Budapest Pride Parade to Protest Attacks on LGBTQ+ Hungarians

"A lot has happened over the last few years, and it's time to show that we're not okay with it," said one of the organizers.

Jessica Corbett ·