Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Raids Could Mark A Shift In Immigration Policy

Raids Could Mark A Shift In Immigration Policy

A 23-year-old man who was brought to the United States when he was 7 years old was detained Friday by immigration authorities, despite his status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Reuters reported Tuesday afternoon that 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina was arrested last week in his father's Seattle home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. But Ramirez was arrested without cause - something that immigrants' rights activists believe may be a first.

A 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the USA illegally at the age of seven has been arrested and detained, despite having a valid work permit. (Possession of a criminal record precludes a work permit under DACA.) These facts have not stopped ICE from claiming that Ramirez Medina a "gang member", an allegation that his lawyers and local civil rights advocates vehemently deny.

US authorities detained a Mexican immigrant protected by an Obama-era program that defers deportation for thousands of young illegal immigrants known as "dreamers", the man's lawyer claimed in a court filing this week.

Asked about that possibility on NPR's All Things Considered, another member of Ramirez's legal defense team, attorney Mark Rosenbaum, said he was "not concerned today, because there's nothing in terms of a change in law [now]".

In January, he issued an executive order expanding the remit of Homeland Security officials so they can target not only immigrants with serious criminal records, but also those with minor offences or no convictions to their names. "They are young people working & contributing to this great country".

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Pictured: A worker shuts a gate at the privately-run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center which houses U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees. At that point, Ramirez's attorneys say, he was arrested and taken to an ICE field office south of Seattle. They took him to a processing center, where, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf, Ramirez once again told an ICE agent that he had a lawful work permit. His DACA status was renewed a year ago.

In an interview with ABC News last month, Trump said his administration was devising a policy on how to deal with people covered by DACA, without indicating any concrete plans. He most recently stated in December, "We're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud".

His arrest is the first involving recipients of DACA. MORE has not overturned the executive order signed by former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaDetained "dreamer" files lawsuit against DHS Melania Trump, Sara Netanyahu visit African-American history museum ESPN: Trump to pass on "March Madness" bracket MORE that created DACA, essentially leaving the program in the books. In my heart, I knew that today was different than in the past.

New immigration actions during the Trump Administration have yet to take place in Utah but Barber says such actions occurring in the state would not be out of the ordinary.

An ICE public information officer was not immediately available for comment.

A hearing on Ramirez's case is scheduled for Friday in Seattle.

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