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"Undocumented and Unafraid": 30 Immigrants Detained Crossing Into U.S. at Border Protest

"We were all just trying to go back home, because we all fear going back to Mexico."
 
 
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Earlier this week, more than 30 undocumented youth who lived in the United States as children, as well as three of their parents, were held by authorities after they attempted to re-enter the United States from Mexico at the crossing in Laredo, Texas. It is the second time in three months that undocumented immigrants have attempted to re-enter the United States through an official point of entry in an act of protest. On Monday, the activists marched across a bridge connecting Mexico to the United States wearing graduation caps and gowns, chanting "Undocumented and unafraid." We speak to two of the people released, Javier Cortés and his father, Javier Calderón, who are from Michoacán, Mexico. Cortés has lived in the United States since his family came here when he was three years old. They left the United States to visit an ailing family member in Mexico, knowing re-entering the country would be difficult.

The following is a transcript.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring into this conversation two people who were part of a protest this week, when more than 30 undocumented youth who lived in the United States as children, as well as three of their parents, were held by authorities after they attempted to re-enter the United States from Mexico at the Laredo, Texas, crossing. It’s the second time in three months that undocumented immigrants have attempted to re-enter the U.S. through an official point of entry. A group called the DREAM 9 was held for three weeks after trying to enter the U.S. in July. All nine are now seeking asylum. On Monday, the activists marched across a bridge connecting Mexico to the United States, wearing graduation caps and gowns, chanting "Undocumented and unafraid!"

ACTIVISTS: Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid! Undocumented! Unafraid!

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Nine of the people who were detained after they crossed in Laredo have been released on humanitarian parole. They include four DREAMers and their parents. The others were transferred to a processing center in El Paso.

Well, two of the people released join us now from Laredo via Democracy Now! video stream. Javier Cortés, who is 16, and his father, Javier Calderón, are from Michoacán, Mexico. Javier Cortés has lived in the United States since his family came here when he was three years old.

Welcome, both of you, to Democracy Now! Javier Cortés, could you tell us what you were trying to do with the protest that was held yesterday?

JAVIER CORTÉS: Yeah, we were just trying to go back home, me and the other DREAMers, all together, and family. You know, we were all just trying to go back home, because we all fear going back to Mexico, for reasons like, you know, we feel unsafe, or we have like—we struggle, and stuff like that. So we were trying to go back home.

AMY GOODMAN: Why did your family return to Mexico, Javier?

JAVIER CORTÉS: Me and my dad returned to—and my mom and my little brother and my sister returned to Mexico because we had an urgent emergency call that my grandma—the doctor said she could have passed away at any moment. So, after years of not seeing family members, my family decided to go back to Mexico and see them. I had no other choice but to follow them.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what’s your reaction when you hear this continuing situation with the Obama administration, that while the president says he supports immigration reform, he is continuing to preside over record numbers of deportations of people, the majority to Mexico, really, but through—to other parts of the world, as well?

 
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