A 23-year-old man who was brought to the United States illegally as a child but who was shielded from deportation by Obama-era regulations is suing the federal government after he was arrested last week during a sting targeting his father.
According to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the agents who arrested Daniel Ramirez Medina on Friday at his father’s home were led to believe that he was a gang member, and thus a “risk to public safety.”
However, Medina insists that he has no gang ties and claims that “while in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation,” said attorney Mark Rosenbaum.
Medina’s arrest by ICE agents sparked outrage, as he holds a valid work permit under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Commonly referred to as the Dream Act, roughly 750,000 eligible people have enrolled to receive protection from deportation and the ability to work legally.
According to Northwest Immigrants Rights Project Legal Director Matt Adams, Medina is currently the only Dreamer to have been detained by ICE. “This appears to be a complete one-off. We certainly haven’t seen this with our hundreds of other clients who have DACA status as well,” he told the Associated Press.
He believes that Ramirez’s arrest was simply a mistake on the part of federal agents. “I don’t think this has to do with a change in policy; I just think it was an enforcement procedure gone wrong,” Adams continued. “Hopefully they’re going to come to their senses.
Trump campaigned on a strict and aggressive approach to tackling the problem of illegal immigration, but on the topic of the DACA program in particular, his rhetoric softened.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” he told Time magazine last year.