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For many Dreamers, children who were brought to the United States without proper immigration authorization, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was supposed to represent a promise. To Dreamers, DACA was a promise that as long as they stayed out of trouble, focused on school and work, and developed into a responsible young adult then they would not be subject to arrest, removal, or other adverse immigration enforcement action.

Unfortunately, Dreamers across the country must contend with the possibility that immigration tactics have become more aggressive. And, depending on how events unfold in this and other immigration enforcement efforts, Dreamers may need to adjust to a new immigration reality. However, while it is still too soon to sound the alarm, the recent events have certainly raised anxieties in immigrant communities from coast to coast. Our Orlando citizenship lawyers explain more below.

A Brief Synopsis of DACA Requirements

Prior to delving into the events of the past week, it is useful to first set forth the standards and requirements that undocumented immigrants must satisfy and maintain to receive DACA status. Generally, applicants can be no older than 30 years old and they must have been brought to the United States as a child. These individuals open up their lives to tremendous scrutiny to ensure that they are not engaged in illegal or certain immoral activities.

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First, Dreamers are required to submit an array of personal information to the Department of Homeland Security. Then, they must submit information to the FBI to go through an FBI background check. The dreamer must show that he or she is attending school, a recent graduate, or has been honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. military. Individuals who open up their life and meet these standards receive a promise from the U.S. government that it will not take immigration enforcement action for at least two years.

Dreamer Arrested, Detained Due to Alleged Gang Ties

Daniel Ramirez Medina is a 23-years-old man who was brought to the United States by his parents when he was seven years old. Mr. Ramirez Medina was twice assessed under the DACA program and received DACA authorization in both cases. Unfortunately, Mr. Ramirez Medina was recently swept up in an immigration enforcement action and is now facing removal based on statements ICE agents allege he made. Mr. Ramirez Medina denies making the statements alleged by the ICE agents.

On the morning of February 10, 2017, ICE agents launched an immigration enforcement action that targeted Mr. Ramirez Medina’s father. Following this point, versions of events differ. While ICE claims that the father invited the agents into the home, Mr. Ramirez Medina claims that no invitation was extended and agents entered without consent. The individuals were arrested and Mr. Ramirez Medina was brought to an ICE holding facility for questioning.

During questioning, ICE agents claim that Mr. Ramirez Medina responded “Not no more,” when asked about if he was in a gang or associated with gang members. Countering the agents’ claims, Ramirez Medina claimed that he was asked if he was in a gang seven times and said no every time. However, Ramirez, now 23, did admit that as a child he may have been friends with a couple people who were Sureños (gangs loosely affiliated with Mexican organized crime), but had moved to Washington to get away from these people and had not associated with them since reaching adulthood.

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Agents also claimed that a tattoo present on Mr. Ramirez Medina’s arm was a gang tattoo. The tattoo depicted a star with the words “La Paz B.C.S.” above and below the star. Ramirez states that “La Paz” refers to the city of his birth. ‘B.C.S.” stands for the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur. Agents claim that the Sur – Spanish for South – is a double entendre and also refers to the Sureños gang.  In a court document Ramirez responded writing,  “I came in and the officers said I have gang affiliation with gangs so I wear an orange uniform. I do not have a criminal history and I’m not affiliated with any gangs.”

Questions About You Immigration Status and In Need of an Orlando Immigration Attorney?

After a federal judge declined to release Mr. Ramirez from detention, he faces a February 24, 2017 bail hearing. While Mr. Ramirez’s attorneys claim that there is no basis for holding their clients, this matter appears to raise both legal questions and issues of credibility. However, the arrest would not have likely occurred under the previous administration. This fact alone may show that Dreamers and other immigrants need to adjust to a new immigrant climate.

If you have questions regarding your immigration status or are concerned about the possibility of enforcement action, contact the Tampa immigration attorneys of Colombo & Hurd. To schedule a confidential initial consultation, call 305-692-0232 or contact us online.

Rusten Hurd

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