On Monday a group of more than 30 undocumented immigrants attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at the legal port of entry in San Diego. At least one of those who tried to cross has been deported back to Mexico according to the Huffington Post.
Dolores Lara has children still living in the U.S. and his participation in the mass crossing was part of a larger protest known as "Bring Them Home.” The campaign is organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) and is meant to draw attention to the impact deportations have on immigrant families. The National Memo reports that the Obama administration has deported nearly 2 million immigrants to date.
Lara had worked in the fields of eastern Washington state for nearly a decade when he was stopped and taken into custody under suspicion of DUI three years ago. He was handed over to immigration authorities and eventually deported to his native Mexico. In Tijuana he has struggled to find work and has hoped to make it back to the U.S. to be with his family.
Those hopes have now been dashed as his request to re-enter the country through humanitarian parole or asylum have been denied.
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"He decided to take that risk because he wanted to be with his children, with us,” his daughter Elizabeth told the Huffington Post.
She said she supported her father’s efforts to join the crossing as a protest because she didn’t want him risking his life by trying to cross illegally.
It is estimated that close to 100 other protesters will attempt to cross legally this week as part of the “Bring Them Home” campaign. The others who were detained with Lara are still being held as border authorities process their cases.
The first instance of a “Bring Them Home” protest crossing occurred last year when three immigrants — Lizbeth Mateo, Lulu Martinez and Marcos Saavedra — traveled to Mexico and attempted to comeback to the U.S. in July. They entered legally at Nogales, Ariz. and declared their status. They were accompanied by six others who had joined them in Mexico. The group was detained and became known as the “Dream Nine.” The nine applied for asylum and were released after authorities decided they had “credible fear” of returning to their home countries.
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The crossings have increased as President Obama continues to be criticized by the Latino community over his deportation record.
"We're tired of hiding from the police, tired of being a business for this country, tired of President Obama's promises," José Hernández, whose daughter was among the protesters Monday, was quoted as saying by the Huffington Post.