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17 Powerful Images Of "Dreamers" Blocking A Bus To Stop The Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants

The standoff lasted for five hours before the bus retreated back into the Phoenix detention center.

Posted on August 22, 2013, at 5:18 p.m. ET

Immigration activists from the Arizona Dream Act Coalition were holding a vigil outside a Phoenix immigrant detention center when a bus filled with immigrants tried to leave the facility.

1. The "dreamers," undocumented youth brought to the country as children, and their mothers, ran toward the bus.

Via Facebook: theadac

"It was weird, all of the families and moms everybody started running to get in front of the bus," high-profile dreamer Erika Andiola, who was at the vigil, told BuzzFeed.

2. They surrounded it.

3. They didn't let it go anywhere.


5. The got on their knees to pray.

6. The lights from the bus on their faces.

7. "There were people inside," Andiola says. "Moms got on their knees and started praying."

8. An immigrant woman inside prayed as she cried.

9. A man inside raised his arms to show his chains.

Andiola, whose mom was nearly deported earlier this year before receiving prosecutorial discretion, couldn't believe what she was seeing. "Seeing us chanting they started raising their arms and legs to show us their chains. My mom told me they chained her too but I didn’t think they were such big chains."

10. The standoff lasted for hours.



13. Andiola says they were supposed to leave at 9 p.m. but stayed five hours longer.

14. Two dreamers were arrested but released.

15. Eventually the bus slowly retreated back into the facility.

Via Facebook: theadac

BuzzFeed reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a statement on the incident but did not receive a response before publication.

16. David Leopold, the former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and its current general counsel, says the photos show the human side of the immigration debate.

17. "The photos are compelling," he says. "This is about people after all and this is about families.

Leopold continued:

I think it underscores the fact that Congress has got to do something. The Senate has passed a strong bipartisan bill and the house is sitting on its hands and doing nothing. The August recess has shown the support for immigration reform is very strong. This incident shows the frustration out there.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.