Undocumented immigrant Rocio Hernandez, one of the so-called Dream 30, was deported Tuesday to Mexico, while 25 of her companions went on a hunger strike to call attention to her plight.

The 24-year-old Hernandez, who had been held more than three weeks in a detention center after entering the country through the Port of Entry in Laredo, Texas, was deported to Ciudad Juarez after her petition for political asylum was turned down, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance's Mohammed Abdolahi told Efe.

Her family said the young woman feared for her life, since two of her relatives in Juarez were kidnapped by the Los Zetas drug cartel.

Hernandez came to the United States when she was only 4 and had returned voluntarily to Mexico after she was unable to continue her university studies in North Carolina due to her lack of legal immigration status.

Her mother was arrested last week when she went to the offices of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to seek help for her daughter.

Abdolahi warned that the other eight young people of the Dream 30 run the risk of being deported in the coming days.

For their part, 25 members of the original group of 34, who are still being held in the Laredo detention center, began a hunger strike on Monday.

The pressure of activists and kin of the Dream 30 is coming from different places around the country, so that in Chicago, members of the Latino community have a protest planned Tuesday to demand the release of Marcela Espinoza, who remains detained in Texas, despite the fact that she received permission to return to the Windy City while her legal case proceeds.

The Dream 30 followed the example of the Dream 9, who in July managed to reenter the country through Arizona, after spending more than two weeks in a detention center, and obtained temporary visas while their applications for political asylum are being processed. EFE