DACA recipient Daniel Ramirez sues US over his arrest

Mexican immigrant, protected from deportation under programme established in 2012, sues government after being arrested.

    Daniel Ramirez was arrested even though he is legally protected under DACA [Bryan Cox/Reuters]
    Daniel Ramirez was arrested even though he is legally protected under DACA [Bryan Cox/Reuters]

    A Mexican immigrant is suing the US government after being arrested, even though he has special status protecting him from deportation.

    Daniel Ramirez, who has no criminal record, was arrested in his father's home in Seattle on Friday. His lawyers say the arrest violates his constitutional rights to live and work in the US  without the fear of arrest and deportation.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) arrived at the home to arrest Ramirez's father, but also took him into custody, even though he has a work permit under Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, court documents said.

    The DACA programme was established in 2012 to protect children, who were brought into the US without documents, from deportation. It allows recipients, sometimes called "the dreamers", to attend school and work.

    Ramirez's lawyers say this could be the first time under US President Donald Trump that a person covered by DACA has been taken into immigration custody.

    READ MORE: Trump to put limits on refugees, immigration

    ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson said in a statement that Ramirez, 23, had told agents he was a gang member and was taken into custody for being a "risk to public safety".

    In response, one of Ramirez's lawyers said that his client "unequivocally denies being in a gang".

    "While in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation," Mark Rosenbaum said.

    Trump, a Republican who took office on January 20, has promised a crackdown on the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US, most of whom come from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

    US immigration authorities arrested at least 680 people across the country last week, and a move against DACA recipients like Ramirez would represent a significant broadening of immigration enforcement under Trump.

    READ MORE: US colleges move to protect undocumented students

    In an interview with ABC News last month, Trump said that his administration was devising a policy on how to deal with people covered by DACA, without indicating any concrete plans.

    "They are here illegally. They shouldn't be very worried. I do have a big heart. We're going to take care of everybody. We're going to have a very strong border," Trump said at the time.

    Rallies were planned in response to Ramirez's detainment by grassroots movements, such as United We Dream and One America, asking for his immediate release.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Situation tense as thousands march in Harare to call for Robert Mugabe's resignation days after military takeover.