Protesters loudly chanted "What do we want?"
The protest began in the streets of DC before moving to the Hart building, one of three Senate office buildings. Many were draped in foil sheets as a statement on the flimsy bedding given to children and adults as they are held at U.S. border detention facilities. Gillibrand said, adding the protests were an "amazing" act of defiance against the Trump administration.
The nationwide day of protest was originally created to protest President Donald Trump's policy of separating parents from their children as they awaited prosecution after crossing into the US illegally.
"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. That police had led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents before the Trump administration halted the separations in late June.
Senator Elizabeth Warren cheers on demonstrators.
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Police say those who were arrested were processed on the scene and released.
Winnie Wong, political adviser for the liberal National Women's March, said the protest would translate into "the energy we will need to see to at the ballot box in November".
Hundreds of children remain separated from their parents in shelters throughout the US. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, and Sen.
"These folks are out here fighting for the core principles of our nation, and I applaud them for it", Merkley said in an interview.
You can find more information about the rally on the event's website. During their sit-in they called for the reunification of families and the dissolution of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.