US judge says arrested Mexican ‘Dreamer’ can be released
A Mexican immigrant with a work permit who was arrested by U.S. authorities was granted bond by an immigration judge and is expected to be released from federal custody on Wednesday, his legal team said in a statement.
Daniel Ramirez Medina was arrested near Seattle last month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers who subsequently alleged Ramirez had gang ties and should be deported. Ramirez’s lawyers have denied their client has any gang involvement or criminal record, and called his arrest unconstitutional.
Ramirez, among illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers,” came to the United States with his parents when he was about 10 years old. The case is being closely watched by other Dreamers who worry that they could be swept up in more aggressive immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump.
The term Dreamers refers to some 750,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, who have been afforded some protection from deportation under an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
An immigration judge granted Ramirez’s release this week on a $15,000 bond while proceedings over his legal status in the country continue, his lawyers said.
An ICE spokeswoman could not immediately answer questions about whether the agency would appeal the bond order.
Under U.S. law, deportation cases must be heard by immigration courts, which are administered by the Department of Justice. But Ramirez’s attorneys say he is entitled to challenge the circumstances of his arrest in federal court.
Earlier this month, a Seattle magistrate judge recommended that his court hear Ramirez’s legal claims around his arrest. The Justice Department has challenged that recommendation.
(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang)