In a direct challenge to the Obama administration's 'deportation machine,' eight immigrant youths who were raised in the United States stood at the Nogales border crossing in Mexico Monday demanding to be let back in to the US.
Three of the demonstrators, Lizbeth Mateo, Lulu Martinez and Marco Saavedr, elected to fly to Mexico and cross alongside the five others—who are among the 1.7 million who, because of forcible removal or self-deportation, have been unable to return to their families in the US.
Supporters on either side of the crossing chanted "undocumented and unafraid," and "Bring them home!"
With applications for legal admission in hand, demonstrators were detained by the Department for Homeland Security, reports on Twitter indicate.
According to a statement on the Bring Them Home website:
The Obama Administration has created a deportation machine resulting in the destruction of over 1.7 million lives, and the devastating separation of those families by the border. Those 1.7 million people are not lost and forgotten; rather, they are people who deserve to have the choice to return to their home in this country.
All of the participants were raised in the United States and would technically qualify for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). "However," as a friend of the demonstrators writing on the Dream Activist blog explains, "none of them have been granted DACA, and thus, are most likely inadmissible from the United States." They continue:
For years, we have received emails, phone calls, videos from many persons detained and deported by the U.S. government, often for no reason other than the fact that they grew up in this country, were racially profiled, pulled over for driving without a license, sent to jail, detention and then removed. In many instances, such persons had family, legally residing in the United States. In other cases, after waiting for years for relief, individuals left the U.S. in pursuit of a life elsewhere, only to find out that they could not come back legally into the country, even when they exercised proper legal channels.
Over 10,000 individuals have already signed a petition calling on President Obama to "create a pathway" for the Dream 8 to return home.
— IYJL (@IYJL) July 22, 2013