undocumented students arrested at "coming out" rally

The other day I wrote about eight undocumented students from across California who planned to come forward and publicly reveal their status at a "coming out" rally at San Bernadino Valley College.

On Tuesday, seven undocumented students, including UC Berkeley student senator Ju Hong, were arrested at the rally: UC Berkeley student senator arrested in immigration rally.

To be clear, the group wasn't actually arrested for their undocumented status. They actually ran into trouble after the protest left campus grounds and blocked a busy city street. If the cops weren't looking your way before, that definitely got their attention:
Political science student Ju Hong, 21, a graduate of Alameda High School, had traveled to San Bernardino Valley College for a "coming out" rally for undocumented students from across the state to share their stories.

College officials said the rally went smoothly until the protesters left the campus grounds and interrupted traffic on Mt. Vernon Avenue, a multilane thoroughfare adjacent to the campus.

"Once they started to jockey with the traffic and the buses, life got a little more complicated," said college spokeswoman Alisa Moore. "If I were testing that law, I don't think I'd test it with the San Bernardino police."

Friends say Hong intended to make a statement, but they are worried that the arrest could trigger his deportation. Through the federal Secure Communities program, which has been implemented in all of California's counties, anyone arrested and booked in a county jail gets fingerprints sent to a federal database monitored by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The seven are charged with unlawful assembly and failure to disperse for blocking an "extremely busy street" and refusing to leave. No word on what happens to them now, but if ICE gets involved, things get complicated. But it sounds like these students all knew the risks. I'm interested to see how it all shakes down. If you'd like to contribute money towards Ju Hong's bail, go to the DREAMer Bail Fund website here. (Thanks, Bena.)

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