'Dreamer' arrest raises fears of massive crackdown on immigrants
Arrest of a 23-year-old Daca recipient, apparently the first case of its kind under Trump, has raised fears of a massive crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Daniel Ramirez Medina, who has no criminal record, was brought to the US from Mexico as a child and was granted a work permit under Obama’s program.
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According to the President's tweets and public statements, recent raids on illegal migrants are focused only on deporting "delinquents" and "criminals", but the arrest of an undocumented immigrant who was granted a work permit under Obama last week has sparked fears among other recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program and prompted a judge to demand an explanation from the government.
Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old with no criminal record who was brought to the US from Mexico when he was seven years old, was taken into custody last Friday in Seattle. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) officers made the arrest at his father’s house, despite the fact that Medina has twice been granted an employment authorization card under the Daca program.
The detention of the “dreamer”, as Daca recipients are known, appears to be the first of its kind since Donald Trump took office. Medina’s lawyers have since filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Homeland Security alleging unlawful seizure and detention, leading chief US magistrate judge James Donohue to order the government to justify its actions.
While his lawyers call Ramirez a "law abiding" young father (he has a 3 year old son), federal immigration officials labeled him as a "self-admitted gang member."
The arrest is a wake-up call for human rights groups, that fear about what will be Trump's next steps on immigration.
President Donald Trump told ABC News that Dreamers should be worried. Trump said, "They shouldn't be very worried. I do have a big heart."
"This is the Trump deportation machine in action," said Karen Tumlin, the legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, as quoted in the CNN. "This young man's case is exactly what happens when you have no priorities for your immigration policy. This young man was carefully vetted by the Obama administration, cleared background checks and it was determined he was not a priority for removal, and, in fact, it is a benefit for him and people like him to be able to live and work here."
It’s unclear at this time what risk Medina faces for deportation. But Rose Richardson, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Ramirez was picked up "during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon" and that he was also taken into custody based on "his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety."
Indeed, under the DACA guidelines, an individual would be determined to be a public safety threat if there was any indication of gang membership.
however, the Seattle case has caused widespread anxiety for undocumented students, told The Guardian María Blanco, executive director of the University of California’s Undocumented Student Legal Services Center: “There’s a combination of fear and tremendous anger about the breaking of a promise.”