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"Dream 9" Youths Remain in Detention After Deportation Protest, Some in Solitary Confinement

HeadlinesJul 30, 2013

A group of young immigrants known as the "Dream 9" remain in an Arizona detention center more than a week after attempting to re-enter the United States to protest the Obama administration’s record deportations. While most of the DREAMers had previously been deported or compelled to leave the United States because of current policy, three others chose to join them in Mexico and accompany them home. All nine are being held at Eloy Detention Center. Some say they have been placed in solitary confinement after launching a hunger strike and attempting to collect the stories of fellow migrants. DREAMer Lizbeth Mateo spoke in a recording Monday, saying it was her her fifth day in solitary.

Lizbeth Mateo: "This is Lizbeth Mateo. I’m at the Eloy Detention Center. This is my fifth day in solitary confinement, and I want all nine of us to go home as soon as possible. The conditions here are not — are not the best. There are a lot of women who have been waiting for months to see their asylum officers, to get the interview — even three years. They’re all waiting."

On Monday, Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California released a letter signed by 33 members of Congress calling on President Obama to release the Dream 9. "These youth are the victims of our broken immigration policy, and they deserve to come home to the United States, where they can continue to work towards fulfilling their dreams of higher education," the letter said.

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