Migrants seek to enter US in San Diego protest

SAN DIEGO - Dozens of young migrants presented themselves to U.S. border inspectors in San Diego without legal documents to protest U.S. immigration policies.

Demonstrators in green, purple and yellow graduation gowns marched through the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, to the Otay Mesa border crossing on Monday. They chanted slogans urging an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws and called on President Barack Obama to halt deportations. Many in the group of about 100 people also held signs with phrases like "Undocumented and unafraid."

Organizer Rocio Hernandez of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance says about 30 attempted to cross. By the end of this week, she says that number may rise to 150.

Many are expected to seek asylum. Similar protests were held last year at border crossings in Arizona and Texas.

"We're just asking that families be reunited; this is their home this is where they grew up," said Cynthia Diaz, one of dozens who took part in the protest.  

Diaz said she was here because of her mother.

Last July, the "Dreamer 9," as they were called, went to the border in Arizona without documents asking that they be let in to reunite with their families while their immigration status was heard. They were allowed in.

That's what the protest in Otay Mesa was all about.   

"I just want my husband and children with me; I haven't been with them in 2-and-a-half years," said Adreina Cruz.

The migrants call themselves "Dreamers," after failed legislation aimed at allowing some immigrants to stay in the county.

The Dreamers are those brought to the U.S. at a young age and grew up in the country but were later deported.

Some group members told 10News many have already filed paperwork and will have attorneys on hand.
Due to the protest, a big police presence was in effect and a mobile command center was set up.

Roughly 39 people out of 158 were allowed in and detained by immigration officials to plead their case.

Jessica Gallegos, whose father was one of the 39, said, "It's not knowing what's going on that's hard. I haven't seen my father in four months and it's been four hours and we still don't know."

Organizers of the protest say they will be back next week.

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