TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Nine activists arrested after attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. in protest of American immigration policy were released Wednesday from federal custody in southern Arizona.
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance announced that the so-called “Dream 9” were freed from the Eloy Detention Center.
They were arrested July 22 in Nogales, Ariz., as they tried to call attention to hundreds of thousands who have been deported during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Earlier this week, the Homeland Security Department tentatively approved asylum requests for the nine immigrants.
DHS ruled the nine have a “credible fear” of being persecuted if they are sent back to Mexico.
An immigration judge will have the final say on whether they can remain permanently in the U.S., but such a ruling could take years.
According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency that runs immigration courts, new cases for immigrants not being held in detention are being scheduled in Arizona for 2014.
Meanwhile, the nine immigrants could be eligible for a work permit in the future.
The nine spent part of their lives in the U.S. Some returned voluntarily to Mexico years ago, while others had been deported. Three of them were raised in the U.S. and left the country for Mexico expressly to participate in the protest when they attempted to cross the border in Nogales.
The immigrants were pushing for legislation being considered in Congress to offer eventual citizenship to some immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
House Republicans recently took a tentative step toward offering citizenship to some immigrants who fit into this category, but Democrats said it wasn’t enough.
The dismissive reaction to the Republican proposal underscored the difficulties of finding an immigration reform compromise in the Republican-led House.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier