In February 2017, the story of Daniel Ramirez Medina shocked DACA recipients and their advocates. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) had entered into his home, allegedly looking for his undocumented dad, and confronted him with questions about his status in the USA.
Daniel had been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals twice, which include background checks where he had to come clean.
Noticing the tattoos that he has in his arm, ICE detained him claiming that the star and the letters he had scripted in his body demonstrated gang affiliation.
The tattoos in question are a north star depiction with the words and letters La Paz—BCS, which anyone with basic geography knowledge will recognize as La Paz, Baja California Sur which happens to be Daniel’s birthplace.
Daniel’s detention was one of the first cases of a DACA-DREAMer caught in the Trump administration’s intents to criminalize young immigrants and the event sent alarms among the immigrant community for the transgression to his deferred action status: ICE detained him, stripped him from his Deferred Action Status thus putting him on deportation proceedings.
Fast forward to last week. On Tuesday, May the 15th, 2018, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez who presided on Daniel’s Ramirez’s case, did not minced words accusing ICE of lying to the court of law, after ruling that the agency had violated Daniel’s due process and reinstating his DACA status.
During Daniel’s court appearances, his lawyers brought three renowned experts on gangs who testified that Ramirez’s tattoo did not indicate, in any capacity, that he was gang-affiliated.
Judge Martinez, a George W. Bush appointee, slammed ICE for accusing the DACA recipient with “completely contradictory” information based on “no evidence”, “troubling”, “arbitrary and capricious” testimony.
In the end, the judge told ICE that the agency violated Daniel’s constitutional rights and ordered to stop lying.
Daniel has been vindicated.
Advocates know that ICE under Trump is doing everything they can to deport as many immigrants as possible, and are employing every tool at their disposal to do so and even the dirtiest of the tricks. The community must be prepared to fight.