Is it a terrible risk? An act of civil disobedience? A social media movement? Or just a stunt that is doomed to failure? Maybe “Bring them Home” is all these rolled into one.
“Bring Them Home” is a project sponsored by The National Immigrant Youth Alliance and Dreamactivist.org. The plan: three undocumented youth will test the limits of today’s immigration enforcement regime by trying to get back into the United States after traveling this week to Mexico.
The three are DREAMers who qualify for deferred deportation so, should they remain in the U.S., they would be temporarily safe from deportation as long as they stay out of trouble. But these three have decided to cross the border back into Mexico.
Next week they say they will attempt to turn themselves in to U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement at an undisclosed location along the border. They will be joined by other undocumented youth who have already been deported to Mexico. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Why would they take such a risk? According to their statement: “We are compelled by our frustration and fierce urgency of our dreams to act as agents of our destinies and be the catalysts for a future in which we are empowered, mobilized, and living with the dignity we deserve.”
Phoenix-based immigration attorney Magaly Fontes said the demonstration is a terrible mistake.
"I don’t understand the purpose of trying to challenge the system by leaving. They’re actually jeopardizing any relief in the future for their case," Fontes said.
Fontes said there’s little chance the activists will be let back into Arizona, and they could be banished from the United States for a decade.
They hope this action brings attention to the problem of deportation on the border. Since the start of the Obama administration, more than 1.7 million people not authorized to be in this country have been deported. They are turning to social media to get their message to the masses and they are getting some traction.
Presently #BringThemHome is trending on Thunderclap, which is a social media platform that helps followers highlight political causes and social campaigns.
The cross-border DREAMers have also taken their message to YouTube with hopes of going viral.
This video features Lizbeth Mateo, who grew up in Los Angeles but because of her immigration status had not been able to see or visit her family living in Mexico for 15 years. The other activists are Lulu Martinez and Marco Saavedra. Martinez came to the U.S. at the age of 3, and has spent years working for immigrant rights and LGBT rights. Saavedra is a poet and a painter. He graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio, and now works at his family’s restaurant in New York City. All three have been living in the United States since before the age of 16.
Updated 7/19/2013 at 9:22 p.m.