Religious Protesters, Including A 90-Year-Old Nun, Arrested For Protesting Trump Immigration Policy On Capitol Hill


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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Authorities arrested 70 people, including a 90-year-old nun, for “unlawfully demonstrating” against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy on Capitol Hill Thursday.

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) arrested the people who were protesting in Russell Senate Office Building Thursday, according to ABC News. The protesters were wearing photos of immigrant children who had died in U.S. custody, according to The Hill.

“The United States Capitol Police arrested 70 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. All were charged with D.C. Code §22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding,” USCP communication director Eva Malecki wrote in an email to ABC News.

The Franciscan Action Network, a Catholic human rights group that planned the protest, encouraged attendance to show the Trump administration that “our Catholic faith demands we treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated.”

The group planned to pray in Russell. “At this point, many will be risking arrest, since praying in the Rotunda is against the law,” the group noted on its website. (RELATED: ICE Released List Of Illegal Immigrants Accused Of Crimes After Local Police Ignored Detainers)

Members of the Franciscan Action Network holds a prayer vigil to "end the abuse and detention of children at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 18, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the Franciscan Action Network hold a prayer vigil at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 18, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

“We urge our members and friends who can not be with us in DC to pray with us in your home community, using the same prayer service we will be saying,” the group’s website says. “This act will bring us [together] in solidarity with one another and the children for which we pray.”

Sister Pat Murphy, 90, a member of the Sisters of Mercy from Chicago, told ABC News that she traveled to Washington, D.C., for the event and that she was among those arrested. She has been a sister for 71 years, the publication reported, and helped to start Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, an organization that visits jails and immigrant detention centers.


“These are our brothers and sisters and they are part of the human family and how can we not? I mean, any person with any human compassion would reach out,” she told ABC News. “What is going on is, it’s just abominable. It’s a horrific situation that’s happening right now.”


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