The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday October 20th

Hunger striker released from hospital

DREAM team ends hunger strike

11:30 a.m. — After one of the three young women hunger striking in downtown Raleigh for passage of the DREAM Act fell ill Sunday night, the strikers held a gathering on their campsite Monday to announce the end of their protest.

Loida Ginocchio-Silva, 22, was taken to Wake Medical Center Sunday night with symptoms of heat stroke. She was released at 5 a.m. Monday morning.

The three women, including Silva, spent a total of 14 days at a hunger strike camp site near the N.C. State Archives building, focusing their message on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and her potential support of immigration reform.

The women had lost 23 pounds collectively as of Friday.

“They have continued to lose weight since that last figure,” said Justin Valas, a member of the N.C. DREAM Team, of which the three strikers are members.

“(Loida) said she’s feeling a little bit better. We’re trying to let her rest and have some privacy, to get her strength back. she’s resting at home today.”

The DREAM Team is pushing for passage of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, which would create a conditional path toward residency for illegal immigrants who entered the states before the age of 16.

Silva, along with Viridiana Martinez and Rosario Lopez, graduated from high school and had plans for college but could not attend because of their immigration status.

The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for “accidental Americans” like Silva — she came to the States with her parents from Peru when she was 13 — as long as they go to college or serve in the military.

The DREAM Team will be heading to Washington, D.C., in July.

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