Dream 9 immigrants may be closer to asylum
They're cleared an important legal hurdle in their battle to legally stay in the U.S.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
ELOY, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - New hope today for the Dream 9 -- nine illegal immigrants brought here as children, in Federal custody in Eloy right now.
They won a key decision in their fight to stay in the US permanently.
They are often called dreamers because they hope for a law called the DREAM Act. It would provide a path to US citizenship to immigrants like them, brought here as children too young to have decided to come here on their own.
Now there's a break in their case that helps them keep moving towards a permanent life here.
In Nogales, July 22nd, demonstrators chanted their support, while nine immigrants who'd left the U-S tried to re-enter in Nogales.
They knew they'd be arrested, but they were trying to make a point: That people like them, who came to the U-S as very young children should be allowed to stay and work towards U-S citizenship.
The Dream 9, as they've come to be called, hoped Immigration and Customs Enforcement would release them on parole while it considered their case. It didn't. They've been in detention in Eloy for about two weeks.
Now, they have some fresh hope, Immigration has agreed they qualify for an asylum hearing because they meet the test for what's called "credible fear".
ICE spokesman Christopher Bentley described described the standard for credible fear this way: "They're looking for that significant possibility that the individual would face some type of persecution or torture should they have to return to their home country."
Dreamers have said because they grew up in the U-S they are not accepted, and sometime mistreated in Mexico. Failing the credible fear test would have stopped their effort to stay legally in the U-S and left them probably looking at deportation.
Now, meeting the credible fear test means they can move ahead to an asylum hearing but it's not clear if they'll be released while officials decide if they can stay long term.
They don't qualify for a new program that protects immigrants like them from deportation while the government considers their case. That's because they left the U-S just before the Obama Administration announced the program called Deferred Action.