The US government has terminated a detained undocumented immigrant's "dreamer" status, alleging that he is a gang member in part because of a tattoo on his arm that says "peace" in Spanish. DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in June, 2012 to give temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Embedded in Trump's executive order laying out who among the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants he wants ICE to pursue for removal, Trump named those who have been convicted of a crime, as well as those who have not been convicted of anything but merely been charged with a crime, and those who "have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense".
But feelings remain tense among DACA recipients who remember Trump's words from the campaign when he vowed to reverse or at least stop renewing deferred action applications.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, in response to news reports that in Seattle, Washington, ICE has arrested and detained Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23 year old with no criminal record, who has been vetted by DHS and granted DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program protects from deportation 750,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
ICE agents took Ramirez to a Seattle processing center where he told them that he had a work permit. Court documents say the work permit "clearly identified him as a DACA recipient with a "C-33" code which reflects a work authorization pursuant to DACA".
"The unprecedented and unjustified detention of Daniel. violates the solemn promises made to him and other DACA recipients", said Mark Rosenbaum, one of his lawyers working for the pro-bono firm Public Counsel.
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But recent sweeps by USA immigration agents across multiple states have netted some immigrants with no criminal records, a departure from enforcement actions in the last decade.
USA president Trump's new executive order targeting undocumented migrants has not officially rescinded the DACA program, but Ramirez Medina's arrest last week in an immigration raid targeting his father has raised deep concerns about the status of the so-called Dreamers. But Ramirez was arrested without cause - something that immigrants' rights activists believe may be a first.
ICE said Medina has no criminal background, but was encountered during the arrest of a previously deported felon.
A hearing on Ramirez's case is scheduled for Friday in Seattle.
"ICE officers took Mr Ramirez into custody based on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety".
"ICE must provide answers & release Daniel immediately".
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A case involving an immigrant in former President Barack Obama's deportation protection program may be testing the limits of that program and the Trump administration's treatment of it.
Legal experts say that unless the Trump administration revokes the program, DACA recipients should still be protected.
The statement said that participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can have their status revoked if they're found to pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Immigration officials arrested Medina because they say he is an admitted gang member.
Those protected under the program, often called Dreamers, gives them at least temporary rights to work in the US and can help them eventually seek legal status.
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