Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Fresh off its success in July, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance is planning to hold another immigration protest at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Back in mid-summer, the group organized what become known as the DREAM 9, a group of nine activists who protested Obama administration deportation policies by turning themselves in at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Six of the activists lived in the U.S. but returned to Mexico before the Obama administration implemented its deferred action plan for immigrant youth. Three more then left the U.S., essentially self-deporting themselves to join the six. In late July, all nine marched up to the border wearing graduation caps and gowns.
Their message was clear: They wanted the Obama administration to allow them and others back into the country to study and build a life in the U.S.
What was not clear is what would happen next. The DREAM 9 sought asylum in the U.S. They passed a credible fear interview and were released after two weeks in detention to await their hearings on the outside.
The activists began soliciting for new protesters this week. On their Facebook page, the NIYA wrote:
As the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, we believe all 1.7 million deported deserve to come home to their families. On July 22nd, working with 6 Dreamers, we were able to organize with our community and force the Obama administration to let them come home. We are now looking for others, who were either forced to leave America or were deported, and who want to now come home.
The organization faced some criticism last time for detracting from the wider debate surrounding comprehensive immigration reform. When the new protests begin and a second group arrives at the border, it will be interesting to gauge whether the group is changing Americans' minds.