The campaign to bring the Dream 9 home proved successful. The nine transnational activists who crossed the southern border at a port-of-entry two and a half weeks ago were released from the Eloy Detention Center late Wednesday.
The nine, who are part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, had established credible fear Tuesday, and were seeking parole pending an asylum hearing. They arrived to Tucson from Eloy in two groups, to the joyful tears of family, friends, and supporters. Adriana Diaz, Claudia Amaro, Lizbeth Mateo, Lulu Martinez and Maria Peniche arrived first; Ceferino Santiago, Luis Leon, Marco Saavedra and Mario Felix arrived a short while later. Twitter and Facebook users followed the #BringThemHome hashtag, and watched a Ustream live feed of their release with excitement.
The asylum process can be a long one—but all nine are entitled to remain in the US until a hearing date. The nine will hold a press conference near a border fence in Nogales, Ariz., later today, close enough so that Mexican press can participate. The Dream 9 will then begin their individual journeys back home to their families and communities in the US in the coming days. Lizbeth Mateo begins her first year at Santa Clara University School of Law on Monday.