Hundreds Gather at Jail to Protest Zero Tolerance Policy
On a sunny afternoon on the lawn outside the Missoula County Detention Center, hundreds of Missoulians gathered to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The protest was at the jail because there are reportedly some ICE detainees designated as a ‘Federal Hold’, according to Missoula Rises Executive Director Erin Erickson.
“We chose the Missoula County Detention facility because currently there is an epidemic of ICE racially profiling migrant workers in this state and doing raids, there was just one in a Morel mushroom camp,” said Erickson. “As a result, the Missoula County Detention Center detains those that are arrested by ICE.”
Erickson reacted to the announcement by the Trump administration that an Executive Order had been signed just a few hours earlier to soothe the angry protests over children being separated from their parents at the southern border.
“It did not actually eliminate the zero tolerance policy,” she said. “The only portion that he rescinded was not separating families. So, now when asylum seekers are coming across the border they are being detained indefinitely as families.”
Rebecca Weston was one of the speakers at the event and blistered the Trump administration and Republicans for their treatment of immigrants and those seeking asylum.
“We finally know what makes bad optics for the GOP, and that’s children in cages,” said Weston. “They have gone so low that we actually have to look at images of children in cages, babies being ripped from their mothers in order to get a bit of outrage expressed by the GOP.”
Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Captain Rob Taylor said the group worked with jail staff to organize the protest.
“The jail commander and I worked with the event organizers to provide a space where they could safely conduct their protest and exercise their rights,” Taylor said.