NEW YORK—Undocumented youths and their supporters rallied outside Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) New York City offices urgently seeking her help. The youth immigration activists want the senator to help prevent the deportations of four undocumented youths who grew up in New York.
The four are part of Dream 30, a group of immigration activists who attempted to enter the U.S. legally at Laredo, Texas, on Sept. 30. Most of the people in the group grew up in the U.S. but lack legal status. They surrendered themselves to immigration authorities in protest of the record 1.7 million deportations during Obama’s first term.
This protest and a similar protest of the Dream 9 in July are unprecedented in immigration activism.
With the immediate budget crisis resolved, some lawmakers in Washington have expressed hope about resuming work on immigration reform. In addition, on Thursday, President Barack Obama, while speaking about an immigration deal, said “Let’s start the negotiations.”
Obama was speaking at the White House the day after Congress forged a deal to end the government shutdown. “But let’s not leave this problem to keep festering for another year or two years or three years,” the president said.
Several of the Dream 30 have been released, but most remain in detention awaiting processing by U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Four of the cases are youths with direct ties to New York and at a critical stage in deportation proceedings, said Razeen Zaman of the New York State Youth Leadership Council. The youth immigration activists hope Gillibrand, who has helped with past cases, will step in to help prevent the deportations.