Attorneys for DACA recipient detained in Tacoma say outcome of case will have huge ramifications

Daniel Ramirez with son

SEATTLE – The nation turned its attention to a courtroom in Seattle on Wednesday waiting to hear the outcome of a Mexican immigrant arrested by federal agents in February.

Attorneys for Daniel Ramirez Medina say the future of the DACA program could be at stake, that is an Obama administration program that protects people brought to the US illegally as children.

Ramirez was hoping to be released on Wednesday but the government filed a new motion at the last minute on Tuesday arguing that federal judge James Donohue doesn’t have standing to make a ruling.

The judge gave Ramirez’s attorney until Friday morning to respond to the motion.

Judge Donohue is expected to make a decision by early next week on whether to release Ramirez and also on whether he has standing to hear the merits of the case.

It’s a complicated legal fight, in fact, Ramirez's lawyers say it's unprecedented because it's the first time a DACA recipient with no criminal history is in trouble.

We are very hopeful the judge will release Daniel Ramirez Medina,” attorney Ted Boutrous said.

They say the nation and the 750,000 other DACA recipients are closely watching.

“It really does have significance beyond this courthouse,” Boutrous said.

Attorneys say ICE agents had no grounds to even arrest Ramirez that his constitutional rights were violated.

“He is not doing well, he’s asking why he is there and when it will end,” attorney Mark Rosenbaum said.

Cell phone footage taken by Ramirez’s brother back in February shows a federal agent taking Ramirez away, a father of a 3-year-old.

ICE agents initial showed up to a Des Moines apartment looking for Ramirez’s father a previously deported narcotics trafficker. Feds say that’s when they learned Ramirez came to the country illegally. The government says a tattoo links Ramirez to the Sureno gang and ICE agents say Ramirez admitted to hanging out with gang members.

The feds say that gives them probable cause to keep the 23-year-old detained for deportation proceedings. Ramirez`s attorney claims the government is lying.

The feds argue the case belongs in immigration court and that under that court`s rules DACA benefits disappear the moment anyone is given notice to appear for immigration proceedings.

“It cannot do that until the constitution still lives,” Rosenbaum said.

If judge Donohue disagrees, Ramirez will remain in immigration proceedings which could take years to resolve.

“We think this case will send a message if the judge releases my Ramirez it will be good for the country good for the immigration system,” Boutrous said.

Judge Donohue asked very detailed questions of both sides during the hearing that lasted more than two hours.

During the press conference held after the hearing attorneys even mentioned they believe President Trump would be on their side. The president has been stricter on immigration compared to previous presidents but he has come out recently and supported the DACA program.