PORTLAND, Ore. - The arrest of Daniel Ramirez Medina prompted protests in Seattle and outrage in parts of Oregon.
Some are furious that he was picked up by Immigration Custom & Enforcement agents who were looking to arrest his father. ICE said that while they were arresting Medina's father, the 23-year-old admitted he was a gang member. His attorneys said he is not.
But Medina has a work permit under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.The group is made up of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people who were brought to America illegally by their parents when they were children.
Many thought the registration gave them extra protection. Now, some worry that's not the case.
“The fear is huge. There are rumors every day in the streets and the neighborhoods,” said Francisco Lopez the political director for an Oregon group called Hispanic Voice for Community Change.
He said there are 12,000 DACA recipients in Oregon and that the Seattle arrest is seen as part of an ongoing campaign.
“I think that President Trump is using ICE to terrorize our immigrant community,” he said.
But there is another side.
“I’m excited,” said Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.
She said she represents many who are frustrated with all the illegal immigration and believe President Trump is changing things.
“We’re looking forward to the things he’s laid out in his 10-point plan on how to turn the ship around and get control of our immigration situation,” she said.
Late Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security put out a statement about the arrest of Daniel Ramirez Medina.
”On February 10, Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a gang member, was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge.”
The statement also notes that many DACA recipients have been arrested since the program began.
“Since the start of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012, approximately 1,500 recipients have had their deferred action terminated due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation, or a criminal conviction related to gang affiliation.”