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Immigrant Teens Dare Authorities to Deport Them

Mexican migrant workers harvest organic parsley at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, Colorado
Mexican migrant workers harvest organic parsley at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, ColoradoPhotograph by John Moore/Getty Images

Three years ago last month, a handful of immigrants in their teens and twenties stood up in front of a large crowd in Chicago’s Daley Plaza and admitted to the world that they were in the United States illegally. Their message: Deport us if you dare.

The young people weren’t deported. And though their cause—they were advocating passage of a long-stalled law that would grant legal status to those who came to the U.S. as children—hasn’t progressed politically, it has caught on elsewhere. Since that first protest, about 100 so-called Coming Out Of The Shadows events have been staged in cities across the country, from such immigrant-friendly places as San Francisco to Phoenix, set in a state whose strict immigration law heads for a U.S. Supreme Court hearing at the end of the month.