About 100 people rallied Friday outside General Dynamics Mission Systems' Bloomington office to protest the separation of immigrant children from their parents who illegally crossed into the United States.

The protest was peaceful, but eight people, including Minnesota DFL Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, were arrested for trespassing when they refused to leave the property at 8800 Queen Av. S.

Protesters said they targeted General Dynamics as one of the companies nationwide that have contracted with the federal government to help implement its "zero tolerance" policy meant to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing the country's southern border.

According to the company, General Dynamics has provided support services, including administrative support, IT services, training and case coordination to unaccompanied minors through its work with the Office of Refugee Resettlement since 2000.

"General Dynamics 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," company officials said in a written statement.

Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788