U.S. immigration authorities arrested a Mexican man without residency papers even though he has special status protecting him from deportation, lawyers and the government said. Ramirez had work authorization under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by former President Barack Obama's administration.
Monday, ICE released another statement saying the president directed their department to focus on removing those in the country illegally who have been convicted or charged with criminal offenses, pose a public threat, and people who have been deported and re-entered the country illegally.
Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Vice Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) issued the following statements after Daniel Ramirez Medina, a DACA recipient, was arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case raises questions about what it could mean for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Mr. Ramirez was asleep at his father's home in Seattle, Washington when the agents arrived and arrested Mr. Ramirez's father.
"We can not faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement", the order states.
This allows Ramirez, who now has a toddler son born in the U.S., to live and work legally in the country for at least two more years. But when immigration officials showed up at his door on F to arrest his father, they took him as well.
Trump has indicated on several occasions that people who qualify for DACA would be excluded from his immigration crackdown. "The whole idea of deferred action is to not take enforcement action against a person or a group of persons", said Wadhia, who directs Penn State Law's Center for Immigrants' Rights.
Ramirez's arrest is the first public case of a DACA recipient being arrested and detained by ICE, and represents an important glimpse at how the Trump administration intends to carry out its immigration enforcement agenda. For now, Medina's arrest appears to be isolated, said Kevin Johnson, the dean of the University of California, Davis, School of Law. He asked a judge to order his release immediately.
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Immigration officials arrested Medina because they say he is an admitted gang member. The agents had an arrest warrant for Mr. Ramirez's father.
But gang members aren't eligible for the program, and the government says Mr. Ramirez not only had a gang tattoo, but said he used to "hang out" with the Sureno gang in California, fled that state to get away from gangs, and but still "hangs out" with the Paizas gang in Washington.
"This case illustrates the work ICE fugitive operations teams perform every day across the country to remove public safety threats from our communities when they encounter them", the statement said.
Trump can withdraw the promised protection right away through an "operational memo" because Obama implemented it through one, William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said previously.
Emily Langley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle, said Tuesday afternoon it would be premature to comment on the lawsuit.
Rosenbaum agreed. 'We have no reason to believe that [the DACA] promise will be broken, ' he said.