DREAMers gathered in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in downtown Phoenix Thursday, protesting the separation of families when illegal immigrants are deported.
DREAMers say they will continue to protest outside of the ICE offices to send Congress a message of impatience: immigration reform must happen now. Protesters here believe that what happens in Arizona will set the standard for the rest of the nation.
Mario Castro, a protester, saw her mother deported when she was only 12-years-old, leaving her and her siblings behind.
“I knew my family situation was different. I just didn't understand why or how, because we are like any other American family,” Castro said. “I felt betrayed by my country.”
Fellow protestor Jose Patino said the separation of families is common but often discreet.
“It happens too much too often in the middle of the night,” Patino said. “Nobody hears about it, nobody sees it.”
Patino was one of six people arrested Wednesday when he sat in front of an ICE bus filled with illegal immigrants.
Yadira Garcia said she had already built a life for herself when her father was deported in 2010, adding that she had been in college and was living the American dream.
A third protest is scheduled for Friday.