Undocumented Philly Activists Released

By Arturo R. García

To update a story Andrea covered on the Racialicious Tumblr yesterday, two members of DreamActivist Pennsylvania were released from jail in Philadelphia Thursday afternoon following their arrest at a protest Wednesday.

Tania Chairez and Jessica Hyejin Lee, both of whom publicly identified themselves as undocumented college students, were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of highways after they sat in the middle of the street in front of the local Immigrations and Custom Enforcement offices.

The two women were taking part in a protest on behalf of another undocumented immigrant, Miguel Orellana García. García has been in prison since last July.

According to PhillyBurbs, a community newspaper in the Philadelphia area, García, had been granted temporary protected resident status after moving to the U.S. from El Salvador with his family as a child. But he was unaware his protection had been revoked following an underage DUI charge and a pair of marijuana possession arrests. Dave Bennion, García’s lawyer, told the newspaper last year a notice for immigration proceedings against him weren’t sent until 2010, three years after his last drug-related arrest, to an old address. DreamActivist Pennsylvania is circulating an online petition calling for García’s release.

Prior to their arrest, both Lee and Chairez recorded short videos talking about their decision to self-identify as undocumented immigrants. Both videos are under the cut.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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