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Dreamers arrested in Curbelo’s office are on hunger strike

Activists have refused to cooperate with police, want assurances from Curbelo.

WASHINGTON – Two Florida residents are among the seven Dreamers jailed in Washington after protesting in the offices of Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Catalina Santiago, who was born in Mexico and lives in Homestead, and Juan Carlos (his last name was not released) are due to appear in D.C. Superior Court today and are refusing to cooperate with authorities until Curbelo and Schumer confirm they have votes to block a spending bill that does not include a so-called clean Dream Act.

The seven undocumented activists, along with another person, were arrested on Friday, part of growing activism from Dreamers after President Trump moved to cancel the Obama-era program DACA.

Four people were arrested in Curbelo's office. Curbelo has vowed to work for Dreamers, and has said he would oppose a spending bill without protections, but there is considerable resistance within the GOP.

"Now is the time to say, let's get this done before we go home for the holidays," Curbelo said Sunday on MSNBC. "Let's give these young people and the country, the gift of making sure they can stay here for the rest of their lives."

But activists demand more than words. They want a Dream Act without border or other security measures attached, conditions many Republicans say are essential to any deal.

"DACA is no longer a protection for me, it is no longer a protection for the seven who are detained. Sen. Schumer and Rep. Curbelo have the power to assure the votes needed but instead of using it, they choose to delay and make empty promises," undocumented activists Juan Pablo Orjuela said in a news release.

"Sen. Schumer, Rep. Curbelo, will you continue to stand by as my friends are at risk of deportation or will you have the courage to force your colleagues to do what you know to be right? Will you continue to delay as I count down the days until I am forced back into the shadows to live in fear of being torn from my family and community?"