Protesters gather outside Sen. Klobuchar's office, call for immigrant detention centers to close

Dozens of people gathered outside Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Minneapolis office Tuesday afternoon demanding the closure of immigrant detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The protest was one of several happening at congressional district offices around the country.

Protesters called on members of Congress to refuse to authorize any more funding for family detention and deportation and to visit the detention centers to “bear witness to the atrocities being committed,” according to a news release. 

“When a U.S. senator is denied access to see the health of children in the United, who are on U.S. soil, there is something fundamentally wrong with that situation,” said Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL – Plymouth).

Citing stories of child hunger and mistreatment, there were demands to free all refugees. 

"I cannot hear one more story of child abuse, I cannot hear one more story of a child dying while in U.S. custody,” said Rep. Alice Mann (DFL – Lakeville). 

Senator Klobuchar did not attend the event because she was out of town. In a statement her state director said, “The situation at our southern border is inhumane and intolerable. Just last week, the senator traveled to the homestead detention facility, a private prison which houses thousands of children and called for it to be shut down.”

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released a statement, criticizing Klobuchar for her absence at a recent vote.

"Last week, Klobuchar showed her true priorities when she missed the Senate's vote on emergency funding on border funding to attend the Democratic Debate for her failing Presidential run," said Carnahan. "Minnesotans are looking for elected officials who will stop obstructing and work with President Trump and Republicans in Congress to solve our border crisis, and we encourage Senator Klobuchar to join the efforts to do just that."