Nine men and women who have been in federal custody since July when they crossed into Nogales illegally as part of protest to highlight immigration reform, were freed today from the Eloy Detention Center, supporters say.

The group, known as the Arizona 9, were apprehended July 22 at the Morley Gate in Nogales. Members of the group have applied for asylum.

The group — made up of three activists who left the country as an act of civil disobedience and six others whose motives for leaving range from educational to medical concerns — are all young adults who were brought into the country illegally as children and grew up in the United States.

Members of the group are expected to be in Tucson this afternoon, according to a news release from The National Immigrant Youth Alliance.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.