/Dozens of Catholic clergy arrested on Capitol Hill protesting treatment of child migrants

Dozens of Catholic clergy arrested on Capitol Hill protesting treatment of child migrants


U.S. Capitol Police arrested 70 people Thursday who were part of a coalition of Catholic clergy members and supporters protesting the treatment of child migrants being held in detention facilities along the southern border.

The protest, dubbed a “Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children,” took place in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. Organizers said their goal was to end the “inhumane treatment of immigrant children and to child detention by the U.S. government” by putting pressure on lawmakers.

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“Images of immigrant children detained in cages, separated from family members, and living in unsanitary, unhealthy conditions have outraged the nation in recent days,” organizers said in a statement. “The faith community has decried this treatment of children not only as a violation of human dignity and rights but also as contrary to religious teachings and the sacred call to care for people who are most at risk, especially children.”

The Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. 

The Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. 
(Architect of the Capitol)

Several faith-based organizations took part in the protest, including the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Faith in Public Life and the Faith in Action & Congregation Action Network. A spokesperson for Ignatian Solidarity Network, another organizer, did not immediately reply to a Fox News request for comment.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki told Fox News that the demonstrators were arrested on suspicion of unlawfully demonstrating and were charged with unlawfully crowding, obstructing or incommoding. No one was injured.

The Trump administration has come under fire over reported poor conditions in detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Overcrowding and prolonged detention have become common as a surge of migrants continues to overwhelm U.S. border agencies.

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Vice President Mike Pence recently visited a facility in McAllen, Texas where hundreds of detainees are reportedly kept cages without cots.

“I just think that we can do better as a nation,” Walter Liss, a Franciscan brother, told CQ Roll Call. “I just don’t like what I’ve seen on TV, the way that people are being treated and/or scapegoated, you know, [and] how people, especially people of color from other countries, are being blamed for all sorts of problems in society.”

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