16 arrested in DREAM Act sit-in

SAN ANTONIO - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, called the police on 16 protesters after they staged a sit-in at her office here Monday. The demonstrators, a number of whom were in the 21st day of a hunger strike to persuade the senator to vote for the DREAM Act, were arrested and held for much of the day.

The proposed law would enable young people brought illegally to the U.S. as young children by their parents to normalize their immigration status by allowing them to enroll in college or join the military - a path to citizenship.

Demonstrator Pamela Resindez said that, having graduated, her college papers are behind her, but her degree is useless without the DREAM Act.

The sit-in included the hunger strikers and other supporters, such as Maria Berriozabel, a former city council member who is currently an activist in the immigration struggle. Others supporting the hunger strikers include religious leaders, thirty Catholic nuns, college professors, businessmen and even military leaders.

The hunger strikers are now in their 23rd day without food.

Demonstrations were held at the detention center where the protesters were being held. Fourteen were finally released, but two protesters, Lucy Martinez and Andreda Smith, decided to remain in custody until the law is passed. The others say that they will return to jail if it is necessary.

While 16 spent the night in jail, others marched outside with signs and candles. They urge everyone to call Sen. Hutchison at her Washington D.C., Dallas,  Austin and San Antonio offices.