After Spending 6 Weeks in ICE Detention, DACA Recipient Daniel Ramírez to Be Released

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When Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained Daniel Ramírez Medina in early February, the undocumented community and their allies’s initial shock and outrage gave way to action. Through protests and petitions, they pushed for the release of Ramírez – one of the first DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients detained by ICE. For the last six weeks, they – along with his legal team – have relentlessly fought for his future. On Tuesday, his lawyers revealed that ICE will release Ramírez today, according to CNN.

ICE arrived at Daniel’s home in Des Moines, Washington with an arrest warrant for the elder Ramírez in February. The agents reportedly asked him for proof that he resided in the country legally. He showed them a work permit granted to him through DACA, but officials still arrested him.

Daniel, the father of a 3-year-old, has no criminal record, and the government renewed his DACA status just in 2016. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services website clearly stipulates that applicants should have no felony convictions, significant misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors. The government must also deem that they’re not a threat to national security or public safety. On Monday, Ramírez filed a challenge against the Department of Homeland Security.

However, ICE claimed he belonged to a gang. ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson said, “Mr. Ramírez – a self-admitted gang member – was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested February 10 by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceeding before an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.”

On Tuesday, Ramírez testified for about 40 minutes during an immigration bond hearing that lasted two hours. Tacoma Judge John C. Odell agreed to release him on a $15,000 bond. “Today, the judge affirmed that Daniel does not pose any risk to public safety,” Luis Cortes, a member of Ramírez’s legal team stated, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We are thrilled he will soon be home with his family.” But as attorney Mark Rosenbaum added, “This is an important first step toward justice for Daniel.”

As Ramírez – who spent his 24th birthday in ICE detention – revels in the fact that he’ll see his young son again, two other cases involving him, including his deportation challenge, move forward. As DACA’s future hangs in the balance, Ramírez’s case may serve as a precedent at a time when deportations will ramp up.