Houston – Colombian brothers Mauro and Marlon Arboleda are two undocumented students living in Texas who, after having exhausted all their deportation appeals, are hoping that the DREAM Act will become a reality so that their immigration status can be normalized.
The brothers, ages 24 and 22, arrived in the United States from their native Colombia in 2004 and asked for political asylum, saying that they feared for their lives if they returned to their country.
The asylum request was denied in 2007.
Three weeks ago, Mauro was arrested by police and later transferred to an immigration detention center where he spent several days.
"I went out in the morning to tutor a U.S. student and several patrol cars followed me and arrested me. They asked me questions about my brother's and my status, but he (Marlon) never left the house," said the older of the Arboleda brothers in an interview with Efe.
"People helped me who helped me on the national level. Therefore, they very soon took me out of the detention center, something that doesn't happen. The only thing I'm asking is for a road to legality," added Mauro, who graduated this year from the University of Houston.
The young man was released according to a deportation postponement order valid for one year.
On Monday, Marlon Arboleda voluntarily presented himself before a Houston immigration court and also managed to get a temporary postponement or deferral of his deportation.
Marlon is currently studying mechanical engineering at UH.
The case of the Arboleda brothers has spurred several civic and student groups to join a campaign to prevent their deportation.
The campaign "End our pain," which is fighting to get the U.S. Congress to approve the DREAM Act, which would provide legal resident status to qualified undocumented students, has used the social networks to accumulate signatures asking the authorities not to deport the Arboledas and thousands of other students who are in the same situation.
"We're not asking for them to give us anything, but rather to look at our merits and, from there, they can give us the chance to legalize ourselves in the country we call our home," Mauro said.
The brothers' attorney, Gino Mesa, said that this type of case is difficult because the defendant only has a certain number of appeals.
"And in the case of these brothers, the appeals already have been exhausted. The only thing that can be hoped for from now until a year from now, on the date on which they must be deported, is that something could happen and perhaps then a law will exist that might protect them," Mesa emphasized.
According to government figures, in 2010 authorities authorized 542 deferrals or temporary postponements of pending deportations of undocumented people.
The DREAM Act was approved in the House of Representatives but was blocked in the Senate last December.