Activists Challenging U.S. Immigration System Detained Trying to Cross Border From Mexico

US-Mexico Border fence (National Journal)

Nine activists trying to test U.S. immigration laws are being detained in Arizona after attempting to cross the border from Mexico.

The activists were attempting to return to the U.S. after going back to Mexico several years ago, and were arrested for entering the country illegally.

Six of the people detained were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children and, when they wanted to go to college, decided to return to Mexico. This, however, was before President Obama directed his administration to stop deporting young people who came to the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own.

Since these activists were never given the chance to stay in the U.S. and pursue an education, they now want to come back and attain those rights. The three others being detained went to Mexico to help them return to the U.S.

Currently, the directive from the president would not apply to these people, making no exception for people who returned to their native country and now want to come back to the U.S. This protest was designed to challenge the Obama administration.

Before they attempted to walk through the pedestrian crossing into the U.S. on Monday, Adriana Diaz, one of the activists, told Fronteras Desk's Michel Marizco that she expected the Obama administration to eventually let them through.

"We're expecting a positive result, a good response from the authorities and the Obama administration and yeah, we want to come home," she said.

This is another case of protests leading to potential arrests. A couple weeks ago, we reported on a case in Indiana where the Legislature responded swiftly to a new protest, which would result in jail time for same-sex couples attempting to fill out marriage licenses in a state that bans them.

In this case, the nine activists still remained detained in Nogales, Ariz., and are asking the U.S. for asylum based on humanitarian grounds. On Monday, there were protests on both sides of the border aimed at freeing the activists.

The House is considering a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate, which includes a path to citizenship and stricter border security. However, it is unclear how far that legislation will go.