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Maine U.S. Senate candidate released from Texas jail

Zak Ringelstein repeatedly asked border agents if he could bring blankets and toys to children separated from their parents after entering the U.S. illegally. (Zak Ringelstein Facebook)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- A U.S. Senate candidate from Yarmouth has been released from jail after visiting outside a detention camp on the Texas border.

Zak Ringelstein repeatedly asked border agents if he could bring blankets and toys to children separated from their parents after entering the U.S. illegally.

"These kids belong in schools,” Ringelstein said. “They should not be imprisoned."

On Saturday, Ringelstein tweeted he had been released from jail.


Ringelstein traveled from Maine to Texas to deliver blankets, books, toys, food and water to children, who he says have been imprisoned by the Trump administration.

"This is going to be a black mark on America for generations to come unless we stop this immediately," Ringelstein said.

A staffer captured it live on social media, as border agents denied him entry into the border detention camp.

"I refuse to standby as you bring more children by the dozens into this facility," Ringelstein said.

Agents repeatedly asked Ringelstein to leave. He refused.

Ringelstein was then handcuffed and taken into custody.

Zak Ringelstein's campaign manager says McAllen police arrested him and took him to the jail for processing. He went before a judge Friday afternoon.

Ringelstein was being held on a charge of suspicion of criminal trespass.

He's a Democrat running for the Senate seat held by Angus King.

Senator King said he had no comment on Ringlestein's arrest, but he says the policy of locking up children, and now families, is cruel and wrong.

"What really frosted me was when they said 'Well, maybe if we do this the Democrats will come and negotiate,'” King said. “We don't put kids in cages as hostages for negotiation."

Republican Eric Brakey is also in the Senate race.

His campaign manager, David Boyer, says Brakey shares in Ringelstein's compassion.

"We support his effort to make these children, separated from their families, more comfortable,” Boyer said. "We don't agree on a lot of things, but we agree that families should stay together."

A staffer calls Zak Ringelstein a political prisoner of the Trump regime.

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