Seven immigrant youth leaders, among them Arizonans Erika Andiola and Belén Sisa, remain in custody following a civil disobedience protest at Capitol Hill that started last Friday, December 15.
According to immigrant rights organizations, Erika and Belén – along with their peers – are also on a hunger strike, and they are not cooperating with authorities. They will be held at least until Tuesday morning.
The name of the detained activists are: Erika Andiola (DACA recipient), Belén Sisa (DACA recipient), Hector Jairo Martinez (DACA recipient), Cata Santiago (DACA recipient), Barbara Hernandez (DACA recipient), Li Adorno (DACA recipient), Juan Carlos Carabantes (DACA recipient) and Jeffery Fuentes.
Immigrant rights activists are afraid that Washington, D.C. Pretrial Services is contacting ICE on Erika Andiola, and that the other six activists are in danger of being flagged for deportation proceedings.
This is Erika Andiola’s message.
If you're reading this, I'm still in police custody after being arrested last night at @SenSchumer office demanding he prove claim to support Dreamers by organizing his caucus to block any spending deal w/out a clean #DreamAct. Will remain until he does. #OurDream #NoDreamNoDeal pic.twitter.com/BXkkXw6haI
— Erika Andiola – #OurDream (@ErikaAndiola) December 16, 2017
They initiated the civil disobedience at Capitol Hill senate offices and will continue until Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Carlos Curbelo confirm they have enough votes to block the spending bill and can force Congress to integrate a DREAM Act legislation into the omnibus spending bill. Immigrant youth wants the DREAM Act to be part of this critical bill, which allows the government to remain open and functioning.
These are Belén Sisa’s messages:
While in jail, I'll be risking it all by facing possible detention and deportation by refusing to leave until our demands are met. My head and my heart have told me that time has run out for empty promises from politicians. We need action now! Join me: https://t.co/1G3ei0VENK
— Belén Sisa (@belensisaw) December 16, 2017
This is the only week left in which lawmakers can vote to make The DREAM Act part of the spending bill, since Christmas recess starts by the end of this week. The House of Representatives starts recess on Thursday, and the Senate starts recess on Friday.
Belén Sisa was able to send a heart sign to supporters last night.
This is not the only event related to the DREAM Act in Washington this critical week. Several groups of DREAM Act-DACA activists are making the trip to Washington, D.C. to advocate its passage.
We will keep you updated.