Rift Grows Between DREAMer Group, Congressman
PHOENIX – A second immigrant activist who surrendered at the Texas border as part of a group protest in September has been deported back to Mexico. Meanwhile, a growing number of immigrant allies are turning against the group's tactics.
The group of activists is known as the DREAM 30. Many are young people who grew up in the United States without papers but returned to Mexico.
On Sept. 30 they crossed into Texas as part of an effort to protest U.S. immigration policies and gain entry to the country. Many are asking for asylum.
They followed a group of nine activists who staged a similar action over the summer at the Arizona border and were all ultimately released from detention.
But this time, two of the 30 have been deported, and a few others remain in detention. One was deported last week, a second was deported on Tuesday.
And now some allies who had been working to secure the activists' release from detention have stopped supporting them.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez put out a statement Monday that he would no longer work with these activists, after one refused to leave his office and was escorted out by police.
Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, is a prominent supporter of immigrant rights.
In his statement, Gutierrez said he believed the group that organized the protest, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, was putting young people in harm's way, and the activists were risking their ability to ever live legally in the country.
But one of NIYA's leaders, Mohammed Abdollahi, said his group will keep helping young immigrants enter at the border and fighting for them to stay.
"We were raised in America, we are American," Abdollahi said. "We are going to find a way to come home. And that is the ultimate message that we want to make sure is clear."