Risking deportation and criminal charges, three undocumented Kansas City-area students were arrested yesterday in a Washington, D.C., immigration protest. Two have been released, and one remains behind bars.
Capitol Police arrested Diana Martinez, 18, a recent graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School, and Ricardo Quinones, 20, a University of Kansas psychology student, while engaging in a sit-in in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. They were booked on disorderly conduct charges and released.
The two were among a larger group demanding that senators pass the DREAM Act, which promises the children of illegal immigrants a process to become permanent citizens. The bill has languished in the Senate for a decade, and the Kansas/Missouri DREAM Alliance says there is finally support to pass it. But Nevada Sen. Harry Reid won't bring the bill to the floor.
A third Kansas City resident, Myrna Orozco, was arrested for unlawful entry and trespassing at Arizona Sen. John McCain's office.
Erin Fleming, the KS/MO DREAM Alliance's policy and media coordinator, said Orozco showed her Mexican passport to the police as identification, which got ICE involved in the Rockhurst
University student's case and raised the possibility of deportation.
"They're not legally bound to begin the deportation process, but they could," Fleming said.