Family friend defends detained 'Dreamer' in Seattle area

KING 5's Heather Graf reports.

SEATTLE -- Wednesday marks night number six behind bars for Daniel Ramirez Medina, the Seattle area 'Dreamer' being held by ICE agents despite having paperwork that's supposed to protect him from deportation.

The case has captured the attention of people all over the country, including lawmakers who are seeking answers about why he has been arrested and detained.

Ramirez Medina was a recipient of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  It's a program that was implement in 2012 under the Obama administration.

Attorneys for Ramirez Medina are demanding his release.  They say their client not only told ICE agents he had a work permit, he had the document inside his wallet at the time of his arrest.  Court documents say the work permit  "clearly identified him as a DACA recipient with a 'C-33' code which reflects a work authorization pursuant to DACA".

ICE agents have said Ramirez Medina admitted to being a gang member.

"No, no, he doesn't have that problem," said Roger Arellano.  "It's kind of sad to hear the government say he's related to gangs when they don't even know his life and reality."

Arellano is a family friend who says he does know Ramirez Medina's life and reality. 

"I didn't even see him not even once smoking or drinking or using drugs, none of that stuff.  He's a great guy to me.  A super great guy," said Arellano.

He says he's known Ramirez Medina, his father, and his brother for several years.  Arellano says the father and brother were already doing construction for him, and he'd recently hired Daniel.  The 23-year-old was supposed to start working for Arellano next week.

"Hopefully he can be released in the next few hours, next few days," said Arellano.  "Hopefully.  Pray.  We're going to pray."

Arellano says he's also confused as to why Daniel was taken into custody, but his brother wasn't.  Both young men are DACA recipients.  

"They have the same status," said Arellano.  "So why take just one of them?"

Ramirez Medina's attorneys have wondered the same, but since ICE has provided few details  about what information of evidence they have, it's a question that so far remains unanswered.

A court filing due Thursday morning could provide those answers.    

Arellano maintains his friend didn't do anything wrong, and doesn't belong in jail.

Copyright 2017 KING


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