'Dreamer' Daniel Ramirez Medina released from detention
Judge released a beneficiary of DACA program arrested in Seattle on illegal immigration charge
A US immigration court on Wednesday ordered the release of Daniel Ramírez Medina, a 23-year-old Mexican citizen who was arrested by US immigration officials in Seattle in mid-February, despite having no criminal record and enjoying legal protection under former US president Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Immigration agents arrested Ramirez on Feb. 10 at an apartment complex where they had gone to arrest his father, a previously deported felon.
Ramirez, who came to the U.S. at 7, has no criminal record and twice passed background checks to participate in th DACA program, which allows young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country and work.
The arrest made international headlines as he was the first DACA beneficiary, also called DREAMers, without a criminal record to be detained, as reported in El País.
President Donald Trump has never been clear about what he plans to do with the hundreds of thousands of young people protected under the DACA program. On occasions, he has stated that they will have to leave the country while at other times he has said a solution will have to be found for them.
Ramirez spent more than six weeks in immigration detention before being released from custody Wednesday pending deportation proceedings.
“I’m well, thank you all, thanks for the people who supported me and all the dreamers,” Ramirez said in Spanish.
He later issued a statement in English through his lawyers that read:
"I'm so happy to be reunited with my family today and can't wait to see my son," it said. "This has been a long and hard 46 days, but I'm so thankful for the support that I've gotten from everyone who helped me and for the opportunity to live in such an amazing country. I know that this isn't over, but I'm hopeful for the future, for me and for the hundreds of thousands of other Dreamers who love this country like I do."
Judge John Odell in Tacoma approved freeing Ramirez on $15,000 bond until his next immigration court hearing.