LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) His family says his dream of living in the United States is being threatened.
On Thursday, supporters of a man born in Mexico but who lived much of his life in Lexington held a rally to support him.
He and eight others were arrested earlier this week while trying to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. to protest U.S. immigration policies.
They’re known as the “Dream 9”-- a group of nine young immigrants who had been illegally living in the United States for years. Many of them were brought over by relatives at a young age.
One member of that group, Ceferino Santiago, was living in Kentucky until 2012 until he was forced to travel back to Mexico for ear surgery.
But on Monday, when the group attempted to re-enter the U.S. without proper paperwork, Dream 9 was detained in an Arizona prison.
“It’s been very difficult not having him home and knowing he is detained,” said Ceferino Santiago’s brother, Pedro Santiago.
Now, their family members are doing whatever it takes to get them back home.
So on Thursday, family and friends held a rally in downtown Lexington where they called on congressmen to send Santiago back home.
During the rally, community members protested the immigration policy that they say Santiago was trying to draw attention to in his attempt to re-enter the U.S.
“He was very conscious that he was doing this not only for himself but in protest of U.S. immigration policies that has led to 1.7 million deportations. He was doing it to find a way to help families come together,” Pedro Santiago said.
Officials from Custom and Border Protection cannot comment on the individual cases, but they did say that people seeking to enter the United States must "establish that they are clearly eligible."