The ten undocumented immigrants arrested outside of the Democratic National Convention were released from custody hours later by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), reports USA Today. The ten arrested were part of the "UndocuBus" protest that took a group of undocumented immigrants cross-country from Phoenix through eleven states, ending in Charlotte for the DNC. The group worked to draw attention to strict immigration laws in states like Arizona, Alabama and Georgia.
"ICE has taken no enforcement action against the Ride for Justice activists arrested Tuesday in Charlotte," ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement Wednesday morning. "ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States."
Some believe that while the ICE move isn't too surprising -- given the status of many of those arrested would qualify them for recent programs aimed at stemming unwarranted deportations -- general scrutiny and media awareness played its part.
"There's something about public pressure," Tania Unzueta, a spokesperson for the UndocuBus group, told Univision. "ICE officials told us that this was a high-profile case, and to me, that means that when people have community behind them, they really are treated differently than other people are."
What do you think? Did the UndocuBus play its part in raising awareness?