TUCSON – Immigration protesters gathered at congressional offices in Tuscon, Arizona on Thursday.
Across the country, activists asked for the release of the “Dream 30.” The 30 immigrants were detained when they tried to enter America at the Texas border. None are citizens, but they consider the U.S. to be home, including two from Tucson.
Mirna Vargas was one of about 25 people at Congressman Ron Barber’s Tucson office on Thursday evening. She said her daughter, Lorena, is one of the 30 detained in El Paso, Texas and they talk on the phone every day.
“They are excited one day. They are very positive, but other days it’s sad,” Vargas said. “They don’t want to eat. They say, ‘What will happen? How many days will we stay here?’”
Mirna Vargas is a citizen, but said she had a paperwork problem with Lorena. Lorena returned to Mexico to fix her birth certificate, but she was not allowed back in, according to Vargas.
Daniel Aguilera is Mirna Vargas’ boyfriend. He is upset immigrating the right way did not work because of bureaucracy.
“Her mother’s a U.S. citizen. She was supposed to come home,” Aguilera said. “And it was a shock to them when her immigrant visa was denied. And she had to stay in a country that, in reality, she doesn’t consider her own.”
But the protest at Barber’s office was about all 30 of the immigrants trying to re-enter.
“We want his support, not just for Lorena,” Aguilera said, “but for the remaining Dream 30 who are still in detention in El Paso.”
A phone call to a representative for Barber was not returned in time for this report.
The protesters also gathered at Congressman Raul Grijalva’s office earlier in the evening. Representatives for Grijalva said he does support the Dream Act and favors evaluating the Dream 30 on a case-by-case basis.
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