The energy and courage of the DREAM 9 has spread across the country in the past ten days, mobilizing thousands to action. It has been over a week since the nine Dreamers arrived at the U.S.-Mexico Nogales port of entry and asked authorities to let them come home. It was a historic and courageous action to bring awareness to those left out of the immigration reform debate, the millions of immigrant families that have been separated and have suffered tremendously from detention, deportation and border militarization.
These courageous young immigrant leaders have received widespread national attention and support. Tens of thousands of calls and letters from supporters and organizations around the country have called for their release. Rallies and sit-ins at congressional offices by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) have included the parents and family members of the DREAM 9 in places like Chicago, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, California, and Washington D.C. Some of these sit-ins are happening today and have been successful in gathering support from members of Congress. Just recently, Representative Gutierrez made a floor speech in the House because of the impact of the powerful NIYA advocacy. Nearly 40 other representatives have signed a letter to President Obama urging him to take immediate action and use his discretion for their release.
Calling for the release of the DREAM 9 is just the beginning of the courageous struggle they have ignited from the border and within the Eloy Detention Center in the heart of Arizona. Since their arrest, the DREAM 9 have been on hunger strike because of restricted access to phone service that limits them from revealing the stories and abuses on the inside of immigration detention. Members of the DREAM 9 have also been kept in solitary confinement, which is widely considered a type of torture. Yet, they report that other detainees are increasingly emboldened by their presence and ready to also fight for their freedom and dignity. It is now reported that over 70 other women in the detention center are joining the hunger strike, some of them have been held in detention for years.
In the next few days it is expected that a decision will be made from the Obama Administration, regarding the release or deportation of the DREAM 9. Your action and prayer now is more important than ever.
Take action today:
1. MAKE CALLS TO OBAMA AND DHS/ICE!
“Hi, my name is ____ from __city/state/church affiliation__ . I am calling to ask that the Dream 9 be released from Eloy immigration detention center in Arizona. None of the 9 are a flight risk, and they were all detained trying to COME HOME. Supporters from all over the world are asking for their release, bring them home.”
White House: (202) 732-5000
ICE: (202) 732-3000
2. SIGN A PETITION!
Both individuals and organizations can sign on to this online petition.
3. JOIN US BY FASTING & PRAYING WITH THE HUNGER STRIKE!
The Bring Them Home campaign is now calling on supporters to take the pledge of calling on President Obama for their release and to join the hunger strike by fasting for a day.
4. SPREAD THE WORD! Send an email with this info to your lists, post to Facebook or Twitter, issue a public statement of support from your school, church or organization, and keep spreading the word in the coming days!
Maryada Vallet works as a humanitarian and evangelical agitator on the border. For more on border humanitarian work, go to NoMoreDeaths.org
Steve Pavey, Ph.D. works as an anthropologist, artist and activist at the One Horizon Institute. He works closely with the undocumented youth-led struggle for freedom and recently co-authored Shadows then Light with Marco Saavedra.
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