Four young immigration activists, three of them undocumented, were arrested for trespass when they refused to leave U.S. Sen. John McCain's Tucson office after closing.
Initially, five activists, all dressed in graduation caps and gowns, launched a sit-in around lunchtime, while about 50 supporters chanted and cheered them outside. Just before 6 p.m., Tania Unzueta, 26, who has lived in Chicago since she was 10, came out to serve as a spokeswoman, saying she had the weakest immigration case.
The demonstrators were part of a larger coalition of student-age activists who are demanding Congress revisit the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for students who meet certain requirements, including living in the United States for five consecutive years, arriving before the age of 16, and completing a high school or general-equivalency diploma.
Those arrested were: 25-year-old Lizbeth Mateo, who came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 14; Mohammad Abdollahi, a 24-year-old Michigan resident who came from Iran; Yahaira Carrillo, who lives in Kansas City, Mo., after coming here from Mexico; and Raúl Alcaraz, 27, of Tucson, a legal permanent resident.
McCain's office released a statement saying that while he understands the students' frustrations, "elections have consequences and they should focus their efforts on the president and the Dem-ocrats that control the agenda in Congress."
Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at 573-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org