Undocumented youth on a mission to bring the Dream back home

Marco Saavedra has a deportation order pending against him after he infiltrated the Broward Detention Center in Florida in 2012.

Marco Saavedra has a deportation order pending against him after he infiltrated the Broward Detention Center in Florida in 2012.

Update: Watch the live video stream of the action straight from Nogales.

Undocumented youth fighting for their rights have taken Mitt Romney’s self-deportation message and turned it into their most radical act of civil disobedience yet.

Three of them took flights to México to meet with other Dreamers who have been deported and try to bring them back into the country on Monday, according to the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA).

“We did it to basically bring attention to deported folks who according to President Barack Obama weren’t getting deported, as well as to protest the militarization of the border,” Dulce Guerrero, a NIYA organizer, said.

Guerrero declined saying how or where these activists will attempt crossing the border.

The three Dreamers are Marco Saavedra, who lives with his family in New York, Lulú Martínez, who grew up in Chicago, and Lizbeth Mateo, from Los Angeles.

On its youtube channel, NIYA uploaded two videos featuring respectively Mateo and Saavedra explaining why they decided to go back to the country where they were born and acknowledging the risks they are running.

“I came to Oaxaca knowing that the US government wouldn’t allow me to go back,” Mateo says in the video.

This is the farthest NIYA members have gone in their fight for a just and inclusive immigration reform. They have been arrested after protesting in states like Arizona or Georgia. Others, like Saavedra, have surrendered to immigration agents only to infiltrate detention centers.

But, until now, none had actually left the country.

“This is about bringing the issue to the table and force legislators to make a decision on whether they are going to help bring these folks home or not,” Guerrero said.

Immigration attorneys called this a bold and unprecedented move.

“They are running the risk that they won’t be able to come back and be stuck outside the U.S. indefinitely. From my perspective, it’s a courageous thing to do,” attorney Dave Bennion said.

He explained that they the trio would be asking the Department of Homeland Security to exercise discretion to allow them back into the country.

“This would be based on favorable factors in their case, mainly having grown up in the U.S. like their citizen peers. DHS and the President certainly have the legal authority to parole the three activists back into the U.S. It’s a question of whether they want to or not,” Bennion said.

Immigration paroles, basically allowing immigrants with no documents into the country, are granted on a case by case basis and can be requested for a number of reasons, including the inhumane separation of families.

About Gustavo Martínez Contreras

was born in Texas, brewed in Mexico City, seasoned in the Mexico-United States border, aged walking the streets of Philadelphia. He had a short-lived stint eating grits, fried chicken, and peaches in Atlanta. He later became a béisbol writer for El Diario de Nueva York. He has written about immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and some Spanglish. Although he does not have a shelf full of awards, Gustavo has received thank you notes and hugs from people who have trusted him with their stories. His work has appeared in Voices of New York, El Diario/La Prensa, Dallas’ Al Día, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Latina Lista, Spot.us, among others. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
This entry was posted in dream act, dreamers, Immigration, Immigration Reform, Luis Ramírez, politica, politics, Reforma migratoria, undocumented and unafraid, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Undocumented youth on a mission to bring the Dream back home

  1. Pingback: Video stream: Bringing the Dream back home | Mojado Citizen

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