Since President Trump took office last month, the future of 750,000 young people living in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has become uncertain. On the campaign trail Trump vowed to repeal the Obama-era policy, which allows certain immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors to work and go to school in the U.S. Although DACA does not offer a path to citizenship, it grants recipients a two-year deportation reprieve. Trump has adopted a slightly softer stance on the future of the program since the election than he did during the campaign, but a lack of clarity continues to stir questions for many DACA recipients, often known as “dreamers.”
Last Friday marked the first known case of a “dreamer” being taking into immigration custody during Trump’s presidency, according to Reuters. The 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina was apprehended at his father’s home in Seattle after officials arrived to arrest his father, for whom they had a warrant to arrest, according to court documents. On Monday, Ramirez’s lawyers filed a lawsuit to challenge his detention in Seattle federal court. His hearing is set for Friday morning.
In a separate incident, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials took a second DACA recipient, 19-year-old Josué Romero, into custody in San Antonio on Wednesday. Romero was released Thursday evening, but Amy Fischer, the policy director of Raices, a legal-aid group that assisted in Romero’s release, said he should never have been held in the first place. “As a DACA student he should not be detained, period, he has legal status here,” she told The Guardian.