Target: Mr. John C. Odell, Immigration Judge of the Tacoma Immigration Court
Goal: Praise the release of a young immigrant with legal status to live in the country, who was detained with no proven criminal background.
A young immigrant man protected under Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program was released after 46 days in a detention center. Daniel Ramirez Medina is 24 years old and was brought from Mexico to the United States at the age of 7. He was arrested in a raid conducted by Immigration and Enforcement Customs (ICE) that targeted his father and was kept in jail despite the lack of any evidence of wrongdoing or criminal background. Daniel Medina still faces deportation proceedings and, therefore, his release is a victory in a fight that must go on.
In 2012, President Obama signed an executive order granting legal status to study, work, and serve in the military to young people who had been brought to the United States illegally as kids and knew no other country as their home. Daniel Medina was among these young people, often called “dreamers.” To be accepted as an enrollee in the program, Daniel had to pass two background checks that attested no criminal record. Daniel was a working man that supported his son and helped his parents, but ICE agents did not care about that. When officers came after his father, Daniel was swept in and told that he was a gang member due to a tattoo on his arm. ICE agents allegedly changed the documents of Daniel’s written testimony to put the inked symbol in his arm as a proof of his connection to gangs in the Seattle area.
Daniel’s arrest drew attention since it was the product of one of the first ICE raids under the Trump administration. Furthermore, it was the first arrest of a DACA recipient, despite the claims in the last presidential campaign that “dreamers” would not be targeted in the Trump era. For weeks, community organizing groups, immigrant organizations, and progressive lawmakers have called attention to Daniel’s case and the grim precedent opened by his arrest. ForceChange helped amplify the public outcry by pushing this petition. Now, it is time to sign this one to praise Daniel’s release and get energized for the next phases in the fight for protecting Daniel and other young immigrants in the United States.
Dear Mr. Odell,
I appreciate that you decided to free Mr. Daniel Ramirez Medina, a young Mexico-born immigrant who has lived in the United States since the age of 7. Mr. Medina is an enrollee in the DACA program and, therefore, was granted legal status in the United States. To be accepted into the program, Mr. Medina had to pass two background checks that attested no criminal record. Keeping Mr. Medina in jail opened a terrifying precedent and sent an alarming message to immigrant communities all over the country.
It is unacceptable that other “dreamers” like Mr. Medina are now in fear of deportation. Releasing this young man until his next immigration court hearing was a right decision, in a sign of hope in the fight against the xenophobic agenda of the current administration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes