(Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)
Garfield Senior High School

ICE agents attempt to deport a Dreamer through questionable means

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 25-year-old Dreamer, was illegally detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents early last year in the state of Seattle. After having his DACA status unjustly removed, Ramirez Medina’s particular situation drew national media attention.

Ramirez Medina, despite having no history of criminal activity, was unlawfully detained by ICE agents, after they had already arrested his undocumented immigrant father, who brought Ramirez Medina to the U.S. when he was only ten-years-old.

Although not a U.S. citizen, Ramirez Median is, for all intents and purposes, a legal resident because of his DACA status. Yet, his right to work in the U.S., serve the military, and attend college did not effectively shield him from ICE’s unlawful detainment.

Ramirez Medina was immediately arrested and subjected to a series of interrogations, where ICE agents alleged he was affiliated with local gangs with no actual evidence. Moreover, ICE officials then claimed to strip Ramirez Medina of his DACA status, even though ICE agents don’t have the legal power to authorize such an action, which put him at risk for immediate deportation.

The agents’ assertion that Ramirez Medina was locally active with his neighborhood gang was founded solely on one piece of evidence: a tattoo. Depicting a nautical star with the words “La Paz” written underneath, Ramirez Medina had previously decided to honor his birthplace of La Paz in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur with a tattoo on his forearm.

ICE agents were adamant to link Ramirez Medina to local gang activity, and insisted that his tattoo was a clear sign of his affiliation and possible criminal history. Yet, his tattoo showed no evident connection – or relevance – to the agents’ protestation. Additionally, in order to renew his DACA status, Ramirez Medina had to undergo various background checks, all of which detected zero gang involvement, further proving that the agents’ allegation was clearly illegitimate.

Indeed, Ramirez Medina, like most American citizens, is a typical law-abiding individual. But unlike most Americans, Ramirez Medina possesses a deeper understanding and appreciation for the often-overlooked privileges that come hand-in-hand with American citizenship.

In a written statement published on the Washington Post, Ramirez Medina states, “The day that I was approved for DACA was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt that I could stop being afraid and fully participate in the incredible opportunities this country has to offer.”  

Needless to say, Ramirez Medina does not take for granted his DACA status, quite the opposite actually. For 15 years, Ramirez Medina has worked tirelessly to capitalize on his opportunity as a U.S. Dreamers, opportunity which very well was compromised because of his illegal detainment.

But, Ramirez Medina proceeded to file a federal complaint, claiming the violation of his due process laws, which drew the attention of U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. As an appointee to Ramirez Medina’s case, Judge Martinez ruled against ICE’s questionable means to detain and potentially deport him.

Judge Martinez not only barred the federal government from revoking Ramirez Medina’s DACA status through a gang-affiliation contention, he also accused the federal agency of utilizing deceptive and fraudulent methods in apprehending Ramirez Medina.

The U.S. District Judge clearly repudiated the agents’ false claims, and he further prohibited the agency from employing such methods in order to detain immigrants in the future. Unfortunately, the untruthful means by which the ICE officials arrested Ramirez Median don’t constitute a stand alone case.

After receiving the green light from President Trump and conducting an alarming and increasing amount of raids across the U.S., the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has been found to employ a variety of misleading procedures to meet their end goal. But, because of judges like Martinez and rulings like his, it seems like they won’t get away with it.

Previously published on NYAToday.com.