The "Dream 9" immigrants who were arrested as they tried to cross back into the United States have been released from federal custody while they await determination of their asylum requests.
The five women and four men, brought to the U.S. illegally as children, tried a unique approach to bring attention to the immigration issues. Six of the nine were already in Mexico for a variety of reasons and the other three crossed the border into Mexico for the protest. Then they attempted to cross back at Nogales, Ariz., where they were arrested July 22.
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NPR reported that one of the protesters, Lisbeth Mateo
, said she was already at risk before the protest.
“Being undocumented for so long, I was already at risk of being picked up,” she told a public radio reporter at Fronteras Desk.
The Dream 9 were released on parole, the Los Angeles Times said
, and can go back to their American homes until they go before a judge to plead their case for asylum.
A Southern California public radio station, KPCC, said tactics for immigration activists are growing “riskier.”
A station reporter spoke with Mateo, who came to the United States at age 14.
“Mateo, who had yet to apply for temporary legal status under deferred action, said she was placing herself at risk to influence the debate on behalf of those left out of immigration reform discussions,” the radio station reporter wrote. “She talked about young people raised in the U.S. who would miss out on chances for relief because they’ve left the country.”
Receiving approval for asylum is a longshot for the Dream 9. NPR reported that in FY2012, the Justice Department got 9,206 requests for asylum from Mexican citizens and granted 126 of them.
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