"Why don't you arrest me?" he wondered. "I'm undocumented."

Flabbergasted, the sheriff declined the challenge, telling the young man that he wasn't violating the law for just standing on a public sidewalk.

It wasn't the first time Arpaio or other cops had punked out in front of DREAM Act students declaring themselves "undocumented and unafraid."

A month before this incident, a group of so-called "DREAM Walkers" presented themselves to Arpaio, announcing their undocumented status.

Arpaio ended up hugging it out with the students.

The walkers had participated in similar confrontations earlier that year as they trekked on foot from Miami to Washington, D.C., visiting sheriffs and ICE offices along the way and revealing their status as illegal aliens.

Interestingly, they found no takers.

DREAMers have been willing to be arrested for their cause, risking deportation. For instance, in 2010, DREAMers in graduation hats and gowns staged a sit-in at U.S. Senator John McCain's Tucson offices and were arrested. There also have been hunger strikes and sit-ins at congressional offices in Phoenix, D.C., and elsewhere.

In recent months, DREAMers have been upping the ante and focusing on President Obama, staging sit-ins at Obama campaign offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado.

More had been scheduled before the president's action, and these would have proved damaging to Obama's hold on the Latino vote.

In March, Cruz was one of four undocumented students who blocked traffic with about150 others at Trevor G. Browne High School on the west side, in an action backed by Escalante's DREAMActivist.org.

When Phoenix police in riot gear showed up, the undocumented students would not disperse and subsequently were arrested as they got cheered on by others nearby.

Though Cruz and her compatriots each had ICE holds placed on them, ICE later refused to take them into custody, forcing their jailers at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to release them.

Cruz and one other young woman still are fighting charges related to the arrests. She said she "hopes" the civil disobedience in which she and others have engaged influenced Obama's temporary solution to the problem.

"It's still a victory," she explained, even though she does not know how the proposal will affect her or others who share her plight. "To me, [Obama's order] is something to pump us up to work even harder for the DREAM Act."

And, perhaps, for Obama's re-election, as many commentators have noted.

"I would say that the Latino populace, the immigrant community maybe will be energized [to support] Obama's campaign," Escalante said. "But the question will still linger over everybody's head as to why it took so long for something to be done. Why did it take a record level of deportations before some sort of action was taken?"


Hypothetically, the Obama administration could have stayed deportations against an even larger group of people illegally living in the United States. But it didn't. Instead, the policy grants relief to a very specific category of people, and even then, only after individual review.

Many think undocumented adults among us are equally worthy of some form of legalization. But we're not there yet. Currently, it's politically palatable for Obama to extend ICE's "prosecutorial discretion" over young men and women willing to study, work hard, and eschew criminal activity.

But once Americans have digested the idea of accepting 1 million DREAMers, how hard will it be for them to accept that these DREAMers' mothers and fathers should be allowed to stay, as well?

If you acknowledge that America is not going to deport 1 million people here unlawfully, and that allowing them to remain is the realistic and humane thing to do, then how much of a leap is it to accept that the same should apply to the law-abiding and productive of all 12 million undocumented people in the United States?

Viewed this way, Obama's action, qualified and restricted though it is, could be the thin edge of the wedge. Historically, we may look back to this and realize that it was the first step in addressing the premier civil rights crisis of our time.

And it will be the DREAMers, the shock troops of progress, who made it happen the American way.

"We're definitely not going to stop or give up," Cruz promised. "We're going to fight for the DREAM Act and for [permanent] immigration reform. Because our parents are the ones who brought us here and have given everything for us."

Escalante also was looking to the future.

"It will be a very interesting story come two years down the road," he said, "when you and I talk again on this very same issue."

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14 comments
Mariaisabel310
Mariaisabel310

as if Americans don't commit horrendous crimes against humanity. Oh yeah we call it war and protecting citizens of other countries Do you have an idea how many of our guys have blood on their hands not from one but from many and we chose to call them heroes. Tell me how many other countries go to war as much as we do. Oh and I refuse to carry my passport inside my own country. I get asked for it I will sue.

Mariaissbel310
Mariaissbel310

ignorance and lies go hand in hand. No I am an American Citizen just not think different than you but I keep forgetting that in your American little world if I don't believe your lies and check them out for myself I am then not considered American. Good grief I thought America meant FREEDOM. I'm wrong about that toi huh?

Mariaisabel310
Mariaisabel310

yeah just that everythung related to john illegal is inaccurate &15/hr come on. Food Stamps Ilegals are undocumented you need Id and A social to identify you. therefore obviously no food stamps EDD or helo of any kind on government funded programs. when they file income taxes which they must if they ever want to be considered for any type of legalization process. They get back $0 because their ITIN is only to identify and report. Do your homework before spreading such innacuracies. Everyone would be able to get on any of those programs by just claiming to be undocumented. Give you governmental workers some credit you're making them out to be idiots running our country and I'm sure through out the years. There was bound to be someone as smart as you to come out change it or do you think you are the only smart American in this country that no one would have found all the flaws you have and changed it. They have'nt because it's nothing like you say. Get educated then maybe you will have something of use to someone instead of just spreading HATE and LIES

Erik
Erik

Illegal aliens including DREAMies are losers; pure and simple. They need to return home and apply to come back to the USA like any other legal immigrant. If it means waiting in line for a few years, so be it.

Kay
Kay

No, I'm not fine with it..that's why, after retiring from public service, I became a full time volunteer with a global social service organization to help as much as I am able. But you lay out some bullshit about unions and the cessation of trade agreements to pursue the American Dream while claiming to give a shit about the 30k+ children that die of starvation every day is ludicrous.

Kay
Kay

No, I'm not fine with it..that's why, after retiring from public service, I became a full time volunteer with a global social service organization to help as much as I am able. But you lay out some bullshit about unions and the cessation of trade agreements to pursue the American Dream while claiming to give a shit about the 30k+ children that die of starvation every day is ludicrous.

Bobby
Bobby

No, Kay, judging by the reply you gave on a previous post that you were just fine with people making 32 cents an hour and getting a bowl of rice for lunch, it is YOU, THAT IS FINE WITH HAVING YOUR LIFE DEPEND ON THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS. Stop kidding yourself. Calling me names is just clouding the issue you don't want to face.

Kay
Kay

Your way of life depends on the suffering of others while you spew your union, working class trade agreement bullshit!! Do you realize that if we were to take all the planets resources and spread them out equally among the 8 billion that we would all live as in the nike / fish / rice scenario of yours. In order for the current population to live in a manor as anyone able to post on this thread (Americans) we would need nine planet earths to provide the resources and another whole planet just to dump all the waste. You claim to be so damn righteous with your conspiratorial bullshit and the everyone else is so blind. But the truth is that the very computer you're using to spew your bullshit depended on the exploitation of others. Get out from under your little bubble and take a look at your own selfish bullshit before you start preaching to others.

Bobby
Bobby

Again, in my opinion, this is the underhanded by the administration, carrying out of the many working class trade agreements that continue to be so ruinous to American citizens and so profitable to bottom line labor. I marvel at the blindness and arrogance of so many of the posters here and elsewhere, that cannot grasp what is happening to them and going to continue to happen to them. So many of these youth think they are so hip, but they are going to experience a reality they could never imagine.

Generous Citizen
Generous Citizen

The only way I glady accept Obama's political error, is if he plans for the IRS to create a specific (double tax deduction table) which includes their immediate families still living in the USA with them, 4 FREE. Perhaps this table says it all: American JOHN vs. Illegal JOHN You have two families: "John Legal" and "John Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in Arizona. John Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted. John Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 in cash "under the table". Ready? Now pay attention.... John Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; John Legal now has $31,231.00. John Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200 per year.John Illegal pays no taxes. John Illegal now has $31,200.00. John Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. John Legal now has $24,031.00. John Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. John Illegal still has $31,200.00. John Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. John Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000..00 per year. John Legal now has $18,031.00. John Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. John Illegal still has $31,200.00. John Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. John Legal now has 9,631.00. John Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. John Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. John Illegal still has $ 31,200.00. John Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. John Legal now has $7,231.00. John Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00. John Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.. John Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month. John Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work. John Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family. John Legal's and John Illegals children both attend the same elementary school. John Legal pays for his children's lunches, while John Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. John Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. John Legal's children go home. Now, when they reach college age, John Legal's kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though John has been paying for state schools through his taxes, while John Illegal's kids "go to the head of the class" because they are a minority. John Legal and John Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but John paid for them and John Illegal did not pay. If you vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens, go figure! You are part of the problem!

Bobby
Bobby

It wouldn't surprise me in the tiniest bit. D.C. is now run by a clearly disconnected from actual citizens, criminal cabal, called the Senate and Congress and W.H. all working to screw what was formerly called American citizens.

sarum
sarum

They are busy filing false complaints against LEO's. They are busy calling home and saying come now! They are busy getting their work papers and soon they will miraculously all have jobs while citizens continue with massive un and under employment.

sarum
sarum

with friends like that . . . . .

sarum
sarum

Here come the hordes. Big win for the globalists. US national sovereignty - well there is no question now where our political monied class stands. TRAITORS! And they claim to serve us? Exactly how is that? I heard rumor that MSthirteen has huge contingent here in AZ laying low for what purpose? Perhaps this is exactly the purpose.

 
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