LUIS ALONSO LUGO
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two immigrant protesters were arrested Monday at a pair of congressional offices, when they tried to persuade Latino members of Congress to ask President Barack Obama to stop the deportation of eight immigrants detained since they surrendered in September to U.S. authorities at the border with Mexico to protest federal immigration policies.
U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Marco Pacheco and Marcela Espinoza were arrested for unlawful entry. A police spokesman said Pacheco will be seen by a judge on Tuesday, but did not provide information about Espinoza.
Pacheco was arrested at the office of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, a Texas Democrat, and Espinoza was arrested at the office of Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez.
Claudia Muñoz, an activist with Texas Undocumented Youth Alliance, told The Associated Press that out of the 30 immigrants who had crossed the border illegally in September to protest federal immigration policies, 21 were released, one was deported to Mexico and eight are still in detention and waiting for a final decision.
"It is sad these undocumented immigrants come to their congressmen for help and are welcomed by the police," said Muñoz.
Jasmine Mora, communications director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, replied that "fixing our nation's immigration system will require putting pressure on Republican members and senators. In the past, (Hinojosa's) staff has met multiple times with the DREAM 30 group to hear their concerns."
Mora said Hinojosa was not at his office when the sit-in began.
Gutierrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin said that after Monday's events Gutierrez will no longer work with the organizers of the protest, National Immigrant Youth Alliance and DREAMActivist.org.
These protesters have called themselves Dream 30 and were brought to the U.S. as children but are not citizens.
They're called "dreamers" in reference to the Dream Act that would grant immigrants like them lawful status in the U.S.
Follow Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/luisalonsolugo
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.