Several weeks ago, we reported on a group of undocumented activists known as the #Dream30 (whose size increased to become the #Dream36) who participated in an action on the Laredo border of self-deportation and re-entry into the United States, knowing they would be detained under law. As a part of the #BringThemHome campaign, this group, and many other activists around the country have participated in a variety of actions that have literally put their bodies on the line to speak out against unjust immigration policies.
While a handful have been released, about 25 are still in custody in Texas at the El Paso Processing Center.
Since then, momentum has been building, and questions have built surrounding whether or not they will be granted asylum by establishing credible fear (meaning their return to Mexico could result in harm or death). While the first round of the #BringThemHome campaign saw success after 17 days, changes in how this round of activists are being processed has introduced new questions whether the #Dream30 will see similar resolution.
Read more below the jump.Since being held in custody, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has re-interviewed twelve of the activists, which is an uncommon practice.
“Re-interviewing them was unusual and unnecessary,” said David Bennion, one of the attorneys representing the Dreamers said in a press statement. “Some of the agents were hostile toward the Dreamers and appeared to be searching for reasons to deny the cases.”
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance stated the Department of Homeland Security is applying unusually high standards in these credible fear interviews of #Dream30 participants. As of this week, three of the #Dream30 have been granted credible fear. NIYA has also been asking for help specifically from the Congressional Hispanic Congress to challenge fast-tracking of deportations from the Obama administration. The first #BringThemHome campaign garnered the support of 42 members of Congress, and a letter was written on their behalf. Yesterday, Representative John Lewis from Georgia wrote a letter on behalf of the DREAMers asking for their release back into the US to the Department of Homeland Security.
This is happening the same week that in both Tuscon and San Francisco, immigrant rights activists have been participating in physical blockades of ICE buses filled with community members being sent on their way to be deported. These protests are a part of the #Not1More to continue push the President to keep families together and provide immediate relief from deportations.
Hopefully the #Dream30 will receive the backing of these lawmakers, and with no more government shutdown to distract our national discourse, we'll see real progress on developing reforms to immigration policies that continue to tear families apart. Please sign the petition, make calls on their behalf, follow their updates online, and continue to support these brave people as they fight for justice!