A group of immigration activists will soon attempt to cross the border into the United States from Mexico, dressed in graduation caps and gowns, to send a clear message about immigration reform.
Dreamers, the group of undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States as infants, are behind the border crossing. They all spent the majority of their lives living in the States, having gone to school and being raised in this country, despite not being citizens. Since they were brought as babies, they had no choice in where they were raised, and they feel they should be able to legally live in this country. Most were forced to go live in Mexico for the last few years while the laws have been discussed, but many now feel that enough is enough.
Rocio Hernandez Perez, 23, who grew up in North Carolina from the age of four, will participate in the border crossing, and says that they are just as American as anyone else.
“Our hearts belong to the U.S.,” said Perez. “They tell us that’s a place where we legally don’t belong, but we can’t keep quiet anymore. We have decided to take the matter into our own hands, to do whatever it takes to get back.”
The 30 activists set to cross the border fully expect to be arrested, and could be held by border patrol for weeks. Still, despite the consequences of their attempt, they feel that a strong statement has to be made.
“Younger activists are coming of age,” said Dreamer activist Marco Saavedra to The Guardian. “Our parents made great sacrifices, but our generation are not prepared to be taken as second-class citizens. We have been educated in the U.S., have been assimilated, we’re not prepared to be treated like that any more.”
The attempt to cross the border from Mexico is set to take place at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30.