Three undocumented youth were arrested in Raleigh Wednesday during a protest at a meeting of the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy, according to information from an immigrant-rights advocacy group.
The organization, called NC DREAM Team, which is comprised by undocumented immigrant young people and their allies, said Uriel Alberto, Estephania Mijangos and Cynthia Martinez were arrested during the meeting of the committee, which is looking at the state’s immigration policies and enforcement
Rep. Ray Rapp, a Democrat from Mars Hill representing Haywood, Madison and Yancey counties, is the only Western North Carolina representative on the committee.
The organization provided details on the protest, which was followed Wednesday night with a vigil at the Wake County Sheriff’s office for the three. From the press release:
“My name is Cynthia Martinez and I’m one of those criminals you’re talking about,” one of the participants declared. Martinez, from Sanford, NC, excelled through high school and recieved scholarships to various universities. She was unable to complete her education due to the barriers, both legal and financial, placed before undocumented students.
Another shouted: “My name is Uriel Alberto; I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed! I refuse to be bullied and intimidated by this committee and choose to empower my community.”
Shouts of “go home” and expletives can be heard as law enforcement escorted protestors out of the meeting. It appeared, from the video offered by the organization, that no one was hurt during the protest.
The organization did not provide details on where Alberto and Mijangos live, but, according to a story in the Winston-Salem Journal, Alberto is from Winston-Salem and Mijangos is from Broadway. It did say, in its release: “This action is building up to ‘National Coming Out of the Shadows Week’ next month, which will take place during the week of March 10.” The week’s events are coordinated by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, the release said, adding, “Undocumented students in N.C and across the country will take action against bigotry and injustice.”
One person, who appears to be a participant, recorded the meeting and protest. Here’s the video (launches with advertisement):