As immigrants who were brought to the country at a young age (making them eligible for the DREAM Act), DREAMers have taken an important role in advancing comprehensive immigration policy in the U.S.
The Dream 9, a group of young Mexican immigrants part of the National Immigration Youth Alliance (NIYA), took a big step towards fostering justice for the 1.7 million people who have been deported.
Lizbeth Mateo, Marco Saavedra, and Lulu Saavedra decided to go back to Mexico in early July to see their families. On July 22nd, along with 7 other teens, they were detained at Eloy Detention Center after trying to cross the border through the legal port of Nogales.
Seven days later, they gained the support of 35 Congress members who signed a letter prompting the president to help in their release, and on August 7th they were released “on parole.” This means that they are able to go back to their American homes until their request for asylum is discussed before an immigration judge.
The young activists “organized other detainees and documented conditions” during their time in the Arizona detention center. “They also launched a hunger strike and one member of their group was reportedly placed in solitary confinement,” ABC News reported.
“I know you are going to think it’s crazy for leaving the US, but I think it’s even crazier that I had to wait 15 years to see my family. I did it, not just for my own family, but for the families that have been deported,” stated Mateo during her time in Mexico.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, ABC News, Buzzfeed.
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