Arizona DACA recipients released from DC jail after hunger strike
PHOENIX — Two Phoenix-area undocumented immigrants who were on a hunger strike as a form of protest were released from a Washington, D.C. jail on Wednesday.
Belen Sisa and Erika Andiola are Arizona State University students and were two of seven Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients who had been detained since Dec. 15.
Sisa and Andiola were among the seven DACA recipients and one ally who spent six days on a hunger strike after they were arrested for protesting at the offices of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida).
The group protested in an attempt to “hold Congress accountable during the last chance to pass a clean Dream Act this year.”
The announcement of their release came shortly after U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) confirmed that a bipartisan bill for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients would be brought to the Senate floor next month.
In a press release, the group vowed to “pressure [Schumer] to not allow a spending bill to go through without a Clean Dream Act.”
“I am leaving jail to deliver a message to Sen. Schumer,” Sisa said in a press release.
“He has said repeatedly he stands with DREAMers and that we need a Dream Act by the end of the year. We gave him a chance to put those words into action but he failed us. He let me spend six days behind bars, with no food, the risk of ICE involvement increasing every day.”
President Donald Trump announced the end to the Obama-era program that granted temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children in September.
Trump gave a six-month delay to the end of the program to allow Congress to decide whether it wants to write legislation to protect the so-called DREAMers. That will end in March.
Nearly 800,000 young immigrants had been granted a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. under the program created in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.