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DACA Recipient Detained in Tacoma ICE Facility

16 February 2017

US authorities have arrested an immigrant from Mexico who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and later given a work permit during the Obama administration in what could be the first detention of its kind under President Donald Trump.

A Seattle resident who came to the USA illegally as a child may have been the first arrest under President Donald Trump of an immigrant protected by an Obama-era order.

Ramirez, 23, was arrested Friday by immigration enforcement agents near Seattle in the northwestern state of Washington. "When the ICE agents entered the home, they asked Mr. Ramirez, 'Are you legally here?' Mr. Ramirez replied, 'Yes, I have a work permit.' On the recommendation of his brother (a DACA recipient who was also then present), Mr. Ramirez declined to answer additional questions at that time".

ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson said in a statement that Ramirez, 23, had told agents he was a gang member and was taken into custody for being a "risk to public safety". Federal officials say Ramirez Medina admitted to being a gang member during an interrogation, something his lawyers say is untrue.

USA 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.

"It's not business as usual if they want to pass these laws", Avila said, referring to Trump's executive orders regarding immigration.

According to the lawsuit, Ramirez was asleep at his father's home last Friday morning when ICE agents arrived and arrested the father.

Greisa Martinez, advocacy director of United We Dream and herself a DACA beneficiary, said Tuesday that Ramirez's detention is proof that Trump can't be trusted.

Barber says the increased enforcement actions are directly related to a new executive order signed by President Trump which significantly broadened the priorities for ICE deportations.

During an interview with Time magazine late a year ago, Trump expressed sympathy for the more than 740,000 people in the DACA program, which started in 2012.

"We're sincerely hoping that this is a mistake and it's going to be rectified", Dettmer said.

Emily Langley, a spokeswoman for the USA attorney's office in Seattle, said the Justice Department was still reviewing the case.

Having gang ties is has always has been grounds for dismissal from the DACA program, including during the Obama administration.

In response, Sen. Durbin issued a statement saying, "We do not know the details of this arrest but absent credible evidence of crime, DACA protects those who are enrolled from deportation". I do have a big heart. Many Dreamers now worry that the information they provided as part of the vetting process can now be used against their families. We're going to have a very strong border. "This isn't just about DACA; it's about every low-income immigrant of color in the United States".

A regional spokesperson for ICE did not immediately return requests for comment. He paid a $150 fine and the case was deferred, according to court records.

DACA Recipient Detained in Tacoma ICE Facility