Under arrest: Undocumented students challenge immigration policy
Students born in Mexico, who grew up undocumented in the U.S. deliberately got themselves arrested crossing the borderPhoto: Video by kgun9.com
NOGALES, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - Most undocumented immigrants try to come through the desert, or over stay their visas, but today a group came across the border where they knew they'd be arrested.
They want to focus attention on how immigration policy treats immigrant children who grew up in the U.S.
Demonstrators climbed up the Mexico side of the border fence to spread a message for the U.S. side. Bring them home.
The message on the fence, and in the chants of the protestors is for eight students and many more like them, born in Mexico, brought to the U.S. as young children, raised here, but deported to Mexico, a country they may barely know.
If not for bad timing, bad luck or a combination of the two a lot of the students crossing here today would have qualified for Deferred Action. That would have allowed them to stay in the U.S. legally but temporarily while authorities figured out whether they'd be qualified to stay here permanently.
Viri Hernandez did qualify for Deferred Action. She and the other demonstrators want it expanded to students like the ones arrested today.
"I came here when I was one year old. 21 years I have never gone back. These borders separate us from our families. My grandma passed away and I wasn't able to say bye to her."
Rev. Sean Carroll of Kino Border Initiative: "I'm here to support these young people. They grew up here in the United States. They're very courageous. They want to be with their families. They're American. Their human dignity is given by God."
And these protestors want their calls for change to reach all the way from the Nogales fence line to the White House.
Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have both been active on immigration issues.
We've asked them for comment on the Nogales demonstrations. We'll let you know when we hear back from them.