United We Stand: Asylum Seekers Test America's Broken Immigration System

Categories: News

border-patrol-rodriguez.jpg
Alex Rodriguez
US and Border Patrol flags fly over a border crossing.
They're called the Dream 9 -- young men and women who were brought into the country when they were children but who returned to Mexico, their birthplace, and then attempted to re-enter the United States last summer.

They didn't cross under the cover of darkness. They didn't hike for days through the treacherous desert terrain along the Arizona-Mexico border. They didn't hire a coyote to smuggle them across the border under the floorboards of a windowless van.

Instead, in a show of protest against the mass deportations executed under President Obama's administration and to test federal immigration policies, the group crossed a pedestrian bridge and presented themselves in July to federal immigration agents at the Nogales port of entry.

Among them was Adriana Diaz, 22, born in Mexico City but brought to Phoenix by her parents when she was 4 months old. The bright, artistic young woman and her family had returned to the country of her birth "because she was tired of living in fear under [Maricopa County Sheriff Joe] Arpaio, not knowing each night if her mom was going to come home," reported KVOA, a Tucson television station.

Arpaio and his deputies engaged in racial profiling during "crime-suppression sweeps" that targeted Latino neighborhoods, raided businesses to arrest undocumented workers, and encouraged residents to report immigrants suspected to be here without papers.

Diaz wanted to return to Phoenix because she was considered a foreign student in Mexico and had difficulties pursuing a higher education, the Tucson station reported.

The activists were locked up for a couple of weeks at an immigration detention center in Eloy. An attorney representing them sought asylum for her clients, and they were eventually released after they convinced immigration officials that they had a "credible fear" of persecution if they remained in Mexico.

A few months after the Dream 9 arrived in Nogales, another group, known as the Dream 30, showed up at a Texas port of entry. A third, larger group of Mexican nationals who once had lived in the States with their families also banded together in a show of unity and protest as they sought asylum in the U.S.

David C. Bennion, a Philadelphia attorney who represents many of these individuals, says his clients are seeking asylum for various reasons.

Some came from states plagued by rampant cartel violence, like Sinaloa, Michoacan, Veracruz, and Guerrero. Because of their known ties to the United States -- identified by their accents, appearance, or by word of mouth -- several were victims of extortion or threats by the police in Mexico. Others had relatives who were kidnapped or murdered.

Some experienced persecution because they are gay or because of their political activities.

Although none has been granted asylum yet, almost all the border-crossers in the first two groups were allowed to remain here while their applications moved through the process. Six of them were deported.

Not all asylum seekers are as fortunate.

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19 comments
downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Our immigration system is not broken.  Respect for our immigration laws is non-existent because BOTH parties enable and coddle illegals for different reasons. Deport 20 million illegals?  Si Se Puede!

DNichols
DNichols

"America is great because it is good, when it ceases to be good, it ceases to be great."

Alex De Tocueville.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

Reading this sob story one can agree our immigration system needs to be fixed. Case in point , the asylum B.S. 1st it was 9 then 30 then over a 100 within a few days all of them claiming they are victims in Mexico or where ever, same as they claimed here. It appears this tactic isn't working according to the sob story and for the few scraps of people who do have a legitimate claim I wish them well. But for the majority of them you reap what you sow, having children here knowing you are deportable is despicable and then using them at rallies and parades is immoral ,weak and cowardly.

robert_graham
robert_graham

The only thing broken about our immigration system is that our laws aren't followed.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Monica, Monica, Monica..................for shame. the system is not BROKEN. if you listen to our resident New Times poster Robert (JAFfy) Graham, he says there will be NO reform to immigration (dont quite think he has figured out, reform means to fix what is broken, yet). so if the esteemed "Robert (JAFfy) Graham says the system isnt broken..........................it must not be broken. after all............JAFfy says he speaks the truth. 

aside from all that...........good article, saw some stuff in it that i wasnt aware of

DNichols
DNichols

@J-John

We should go wage more wars to liberate Nations with Millions of people that do, and always will Hate America!

Lets waste Hundreds of Billions/Trilions of hard earned Tax Dollars, have Tens of thousands of our Brave Troops killed in Battle!

This would be a far more "Noble Cause"  than to treat  un-documented Immigrants and thier legal Citizen Children/Families a "Human"

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Really? Than You are a outright liar. You have posted here numerous times saying ICE isn't doing its job. You have been on here numerous times saying they are getting amnesty. You have even blamed Obama. Now you are saying it's just the laws not being followed. Pick a story and stick to it liar..........so much for your "I speak the truth" claims

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Dontbelieveit  This is a moronic comparison.  History tells us that the civilizations of the world were dispersed by one people conquering another, including taking of the land.  Last time I checked, the USA has not been conquered by Mexico (at least not yet and not by force).     

logicman
logicman

@Dontbelieveit  I don't think immigration is an issue with anyone.  Its illegal immigration that is being debated.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

My all time favorite clip was the Indian guy out here who started going off on the 1070 supporters, telling them to leave because his people were here first. (I'd love to hang with that guy.............He shut them all down all by himself)

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DNichols  Gosh nicky, in your narrow little mind, are there only two choices?

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@DNichols Human wow these so-called human's exploit their children use them in parade's and rallies then blame other's for being separated from them. Only immoral people behave like that, . Comparing people who are trying to escape genocide in their countries to the group you champion is really pathetic..

DNichols
DNichols

@fishing

Based on your label for the comparison I'd say you should be a qualified expert on this issue.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@DNichols Oh please stop with the Jesus crap , do you even listen to the D.A.C.A crowd they aren't asking for sympathy  they are demanding their agenda be accepted, they demonize anyone who has a difference of opinion. Their parents are criminals they have broken many laws in order to provide for their families of which we have many citizens who have done the same thing The dreamers expect no demand that their parents get rewarded for the crimes they committed while the other's (citizens) are held accountable for their actions and have to pay the consequences. You see Nick it doesn't seem conceivable that we would allow 2 sets of rules for committing crimes, fraud is fraud

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DNichols  

No, you don't speak for or champion "Humans".

Most of humanity believes in accepting the consequences of our own actions.

If we knowingly choose to break the law in a way that puts us in jeopardy of being separated from our children, we accept those consequences. 

Or, if we are truly reasonable, we simply don't make such foolish decisions in the first place.


DNichols
DNichols

@John

I Champion a group you do'nt comprehend  "Humans".

They don't "Blame others", they seek a "Humane" way to right thier wrong to be with thier Children, and Families.

Did Jesus say "No Amnesty"?

Choose the right.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DNichols  Okay, how about - the comparison is ludicrous and nothing but hysteria playing on the overly emotional and mental cripples like yourself.


So tell me nicky, how is my description of the idiotic comparison anything other than what I described?

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