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Feds Arrest First ‘Dreamer’ Given Work Permit Under Obama


An immigrant from Mexico, who has no criminal record, and was brought to the United States at 7 years old, has been arrested by federal authorities, according to an exclusive Reuters report. Daniel Ramirez Medina was given a work permit during the Obama administration, and as far as he knew was authorized to be in the United States. He’s now in federal custody.

Medina was reportedly arrested at his father’s Seattle home last week. He filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that his constitutional rights were violated by the detention because the Obama administration gave him authorization to work in the country.

“We are hoping this detention was a mistake,” Medina’s lawyer, Ethan Dettmer, told Reuters. He is believed to be the first so-called “dreamer” arrested under the Trump administration.

About 750,000 people were given temporary rights to work in the United States through a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA). The program, authorized by Obama’s executive order in June 2012, allows approved undocumented immigrants to work in the U.S. if they were brought to the country as children.

Medina’s arrest comes after 650 people were arrested nationwide in similar raids. However, the Trump administration insists that the operations are routine and not part of a specific crackdown.  During his campaign, President Trump promised to crackdown on the millions of people living in the United States illegally.

Shortly after his inauguration, Trump signed an expansive executive order directing federal agencies to enforce federal immigration law. Legal experts tell that they read the order as dramatically expanding the category of so-called ‘criminal aliens’ and the directive could even impact legal U.S. residents.

The executive order was “not just widely sweeping in (targeting not only) undocumented but also lawful residents who have a past offense such as drug possession or shoplifting regardless of equities,” NYU law Professor Nancy Morawetz, an immigration law expert, told during a previous interview.  However, so far, none of Trump’s executive orders have specifically targeted so-called “dreamers” like Medina.

[stock photo via ICE]


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Rachel Stockman is Editor in Chief of Law&Crime and The Law&Crime Network. She is a former local news reporter, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.