Dreamers Put Bodies on the Line to Stop Bus From Deporting Dozens of People

Dream Act activists temporarily halted a deportation bus from leaving an ICE detention center in Phoenix yesterday.

A nonviolent standoff between the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and Phoenix immigrant detention center lasted for five hours yesterday, and ended with the Dreamers temporarily halting dozens of people from being deported. 

As Buzzfeed reported, Dream Act activsts protesting outside an ICE detention center in Phoenix surrounded a bus headed for Mexico. The crowd got down on their knees and prayed as six activists sat in front of the bus for more than two hours, directly blocking it from leaving. Finally, after more than five hours, the bus retreated back into the center.

In a press release, United We Dream said the move shines a spotlight on the ongoing detentions and deportations across the United States and the need for immigration reform in the country, America's Voice Online reported. Under the Obama administration, the United States had deported millions of people each year, more than at any other point in the nation's history.


David Leopold, former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Buzzfeed that the move showed the human side of the immigration debate: "This is about people after all and this is about families," he said.

Below are some of the photos uploaded to social media during the action.

A man inside the deportation bus holds up his hands to the barred windows to show the thick chains around his wrists.

Dreamers kneel and pray for an end to the millions of annual deportations separating families.


Dream activists sit on the ground in front of the bus to prevent it from deporting dozens of people. After more than five hours, the activists were ultimately successful in temporarily halting the bus from departing.


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Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.