Senate Candidate Arrested After Trying to Deliver Supplies to Child Migrant Detention Center

A Maine Democratic Senate candidate was arrested Friday morning after trying to deliver supplies to a child immigrant detention center in McAllen, Texas.

Zak Ringelstein, a former school teacher who is challenging independent Sen. Angus King, went to the facility to deliver toys, books, water and blankets to the children that had been separated from their parents due to the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy.

According to The Huffington Post, Ringelstein was charged with criminal trespass after he refused to leave the premises.

Ringelstein announced on Tuesday that he would suspend his campaign tour and travel to Texas to visit the detention center.

In a Facebook live video of the account, Ringelstein requests access to the detention facility. Officers denied his request and order him to leave before arresting him, Newsweek reports.

“I refuse, I refuse, I refuse to stand by as you imprison children ... It is inhumane, it is wrong, it is a sickness,” Ringelstein told an officer. “I’m asking to visit the facility to deliver these toys and to get a detailed explanation of when our children will be reunited.”

“The children here need a voice, and no one is giving them that voice,” Ringelstein said as agents placed him in handcuffs.

Immediately after his arrest, Ringelstein’s Twitter account posted a tweet:  “Zak is now a political prisoner of the Trump regime.”

“In terms of the campaign trail, he will continue to talk about the importance of bringing humanity and decency back into politics,” Ringelstein’s spokesperson for the campaign, Kiernan Majerus-Collins, said. “He’s willing to put himself out there on the front lines for what he believes in, and that’s what he’ll keep doing.”

According to The Huffington Post, Ringelstein is not the first public figure to be denied entry to the facility. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) were denied from entering a South Florida facility for immigrant children on Tuesday.

Federal officials have detained more than 2,300 children under the zero tolerance policy. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that halted the administration’s policy for separating families.