03/21/2012 04:47 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2012

Six Undocumented Students Arrested In Phoenix Protest, Four May Face Deportation (UPDATE)

UPDATE: 10:10 a.m., 3/22 --

Federal authorities say that the undocumented immigrants arrested during the Phoenix protest will not face deportation.

"Upon further review, ICE has determined that these individuals do not fall under ICE’s enforcement priorities and the agency has lifted the previously lodged detainers," said a statement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials released on Wednesday afternoon.


Police arrested six undocumented students on Tuesday afternoon, during a peaceful immigration protest in Phoenix, Arizona, according to local reports. Two of those arrested were minors, and the remaining four students may face deportation.

According to CBS5 KPHO the arrested subjects were identified as 18-year-old Ofelia Sanchez, 23-year-old Hugo Sanchez, 20-year-old Daniela Cruz, and 20-year-old Viridiana Hernandez. Also arrested were two minors ages 16 and 17.

The two underage students were released but the four adults were placed on 24 to 48-hour "detainer" holds on behalf of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE will use the "detainer" period to determine whether the protesters will be deported.

The protest took place at a traffic intersection in front of a Phoenix High School. At 5 p.m. there were over 150 people protesting, most of them high school and college students, according to local reports. At first police officers only redirected traffic and allowed protesters to demonstrate. According to CBS5 KPHO reports, by six o'clock the police advanced and made arrests at 6:15 pm.

The protesters marched in support of the Dream Act and repeatedly chanted “undocumented and unafraid", while some held signs that read, “Support the DREAM Act!” and, “We Will No Longer Remain in the Shadows.”

"This society has invested so much in me already that I want to give back," said Lilly Romo, one of the protesters, to to CBS5 KPHO.

"I don't want to hide. I want to pay taxes and give everything to the community that has given me everything and embraced me, but I won't be able to give it back because of my undocumented status -- I am unable to do that," she told a CBS5 KPHO reporter.

The protest was algo targeted at the self-proclaimed, "Toughest Sheriff in America", Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff's office faced accusations last year of racially profiling Latinos, basing immigration enforcement on racially charged citizen complaints and pushing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.

"We are not criminals, we can come out and have power. We shouldn't be scared anymore, we shouldn't be hiding in our houses anymore," said Daniela Cruz, one of the students who was arrested, according to My Fox Phoenix. "I'm prepared for anything.... come and get us Arpaio."