The nine immigrants who late last month protested U.S. immigration and deportation policy by leaving the country and trying to re-enter will likely be released from detention in Arizona and may even be eligible for a work permit in the future.
This early approval is unique because the U.S. government rarely grants asylum to citizens of Mexico.
The DREAM 9 activists, who had all lived in America without immediate fear of deportation, decided to stage exit and re-entry to protest the U.S. government’s unfair policy on deportation. They believe it is not fair to those in the country who have their whole lives set up and are functioning members of society.
Their actions have created a dilemma for Congress, which is currently trying to work on immigration reform. Opponents of granting their protesters full asylum say that to cave to the demands of a few people just because their situation is sympathetic undermines the laws that are currently in place.
An immigration judge will make the final ruling as to whether they can remain in the U.S. permanently. The decision could take years to come, though.
Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney who is not representing the activists but did advise them on their actions beforehand, spoke in favor of their protest.
“It was a controversial course of action they decided to undertake,” he said.
“When I saw nine young adults basically taking the full weight of the U.S. government, the most powerful in the history of this planet, and doing so without anything but the shirts on their back, I couldn’t help but get behind those kids.”