Supporters stage Kansas vigil for ‘Dream 9′ group

Immigration rights activist Lulu Martinez is handcuffed and led into a van by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Ariz., on Monday, July 22, 2013. She was detained with seven other activists from various states who asked to be allowed to re-enter the United States from Mexico on humanitarian grounds in a protest against American immigration policies. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Perla Trevizo)
Immigration rights activist Lulu Martinez is handcuffed and led into a van by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Ariz., on Monday, July 22, 2013. She was detained with seven other activists from various states who asked to be allowed to re-enter the United States from Mexico on humanitarian grounds in a protest against American immigration policies. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Perla Trevizo)

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) – Supporters of nine immigrant activists detained in Arizona after demanding re-entry from Mexico on humanitarian grounds say the group is now on a hunger strike seeking release.

Among those pleading Friday for the group’s release were the sisters of 37-year-old Claudia Amaro, a member of the group dubbed the “Dream 9″ following their detentions Monday.

The former Wichita woman was brought illegally into the U.S. as a child after her father was murdered in Mexico. She lived in Kansas for more than 17 years but returned to Mexico after her husband’s deportation.

Mohammad Abbollahi, an organizer with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, says the detained activists began the hunger strike Thursday.

The supporters spoke during a Friday news conference and prayer vigil in Wichita organized by Sunflower Community Action.

 

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