Minnesota state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, a Democratic candidate for Congress, joined other protesters in court Tuesday following her arrest last month at an immigration rally.
Torres Ray and seven others were arrested for trespassing when they refused to leave the property at a Bloomington protest June 29 while rallying against the separation of immigrant children from their parents. On Tuesday, the charges were pleaded down in Hennepin County District Court to a petty misdemeanor, with a fine of about $200.
“As an immigrant myself, I understand the yearning for a better life for yourself and your family,” Torres Ray said in a statement. “I am disgusted that our nation of immigrants would callously turn its back on those that come in search of the same opportunities. I am proud to have exercised my First Amendment rights and I am proud to stand in solidarity with the families that have been treated reprehensibly by our government.”
The protest was outside General Dynamics Mission Systems’ office. Protesters said it contracted with the federal government to help implement the government’s “zero tolerance” policy meant to stop immigrants from crossing the border illegally.
The company said in a statement last month that it had no role in the separation of children and families, nor does it have a role in the construction or operation of detention facilities or shelters.
Torres Ray is one of three leading DFLers running for an open Minneapolis-area congressional seat in the Aug. 14 primary. She’s running against House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state Rep. Ilhan Omar.
A campaign spokesperson said it’s the only time Torres Ray has been arrested.