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Six weeks ago, DREAMer Daniel Ramirez Media was taken into custody by ICE despite his protected status. The arrest and detainment of this DREAMer set off panic among many immigrants and family members who had relied on their protected status under DACA and taken steps to build a life in the United States. While there are still serious questions regarding ICE’s actions and approach to immigrants and protected status, there is at least one piece of good news for DREAMers and their family members. That is, arrested DREAMer, Daniel Ramirez Medina, was ordered to be released by an immigration judge.

Why Was a DREAMer Being Held by ICE?

Daniel Ramirez Medina is a 24-year-old man from Mexico who was brought to the United States when he was still a child. In fact, Mr. Medina was brought to the United States when he was just five years old. Mr. Medina lived nearly his entire life in the United States and no longer has close ties to Mexico.

Based on his childhood arrival and ability to satisfy additional standards, Mr. Medina was granted deferred action status.  As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, he should have been free from worry regarding removal or other enforcement actions by ICE.

Unfortunately, Mr. Medina’s experience did not play out as expected or intended under the DACA program. Shortly after the inauguration of President Trump, ICE commenced a number of extremely aggressive activities and remarks. For one, ICE made a number of highly aggressive and anxiety-inducing tweets that seemed to call into question the value of DACA status.

However, the most troubling event was the arrest and continuing detention of Mr. Medina. Mr. Medina successfully proceeded through the DACA verification process two times. However, despite opening up his life to immigration officials three times, Mr. Medina found himself arrested six weeks ago due to alleged ties to gang members. While ICE agents claimed that Mr. Medina admitted to active gang connections and associations, Mr. Medina strongly denied these allegations. He stated time and time again that any gang affiliations were years ago and had been previously disclosed as part of DACA proceedings.

Why Was this DREAMer Released?

Recently, Mr. Medina had an opportunity to make his case before an immigration judge. In the more than two-hour hearing, Mr. Medina faced an array of questions regarding his activities and associations in the United States. More than 40 minutes of the hearing were exclusively dedicated to questioning Mr. Ramirez. During the questioning, Mr. Medina repeatedly and consistently denied any gang connections or gang affiliation.

Medina was released from government custody after questioning revealed that the only evidence of gang affiliations was a tattoo that was misinterpreted by ICE agents. Mr. Medina was released on $15,000 bond.

What Challenges Does this DREAMer Still Face?

While Mr. Medina was ordered to be released from an ICE detention center, he is not yet out of the woods. ICE is still pursuing removal against Mr. Medina. For his part, Mr. Medina and his attorneys have advanced several Constitutional claims regarding the government’s actions in regard to Mr. Medina. These claims include that ICE violated Mr. Medina’s rights to due process and to be free from unreasonable seizure. While Mr. Medina’s release from custody is a positive step in the right direction, the DREAMer community will not be able to breathe a sigh of relief until this matter is fully resolved.

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Concerned About Your DACA Status?

If you have concerns about whether ICE is likely to engage in immigration enforcement action against you or a family member, the lawyers of Colombo & Hurd may be able to work with you. When concerned individuals become our client, we can assess the likelihood that DREAMers and other immigrants will face problems such as deportation proceedings due to perceived violations of immigration law, visa terms, or DACA program rules.

To discuss how the immigration lawyers of Colombo & Hurd may be able to assist you with your immigration concerns and goals, please call 305-692-0232 today. We have law offices in Miami and Orlando.

Rusten Hurd

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