Immigrant ‘Dreamer’ Daniel Ramirez Medina released after 6 weeks in detention

Daniel Ramirez Medina, center, being released from the federal detention center in Tacoma on Wednesday. One of his lawyers is to his right in this picture.

TACOMA, Wash. — Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Mexican man who was detained despite his participation in a U.S. program designed to prevent the deportation of people brought to the country illegally as children, was released from federal custody Wednesday after six weeks in detention.

U.S. Immigration Court Judge John Odell on Tuesday approved freeing the 24-year-old Ramirez on $15,000 bond until his next immigration court hearing.

What made Ramirez’s arrest and detention unique is that Ramirez is protected by the federal DACA program, set up by President Barack Obama for people who were brought to this country illegally as children. They can apply for a DACA permit to work, study and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

A bill in Congress seeking the same policy was first introduced in 2001 and was called the “DREAM Act.” Although it never passed, the DACA recipients are often called ‘Dreamers.’

But despite Ramirez’s status, immigration agents arrested Ramirez last month in suburban Seattle, saying he acknowledged affiliating with gangs. Officials then revoked his protected status. Ramirez adamantly denies any gang ties or making any such admission.

Ramirez was welcomed by supporters in the lobby of a detention facility after he was freed Wednesday.

Ramirez spoke in Spanish to reporters outside the detention facility. “I’m fine and I’m very grateful to all the people who supported me and all the ‘Dreamers’, too. Thank you.”

He later issued this written statement through his attorneys:

“I’m so happy to be reunited with my family today and can’t wait to see my son. This has been a long and hard 46 days, but I’m so thankful for the support that I’ve gotten from everyone who helped me and for the opportunity to live in such an amazing country. I know that this isn’t over, but I’m hopeful for the future, for me and for the hundreds of thousands of other Dreamers who love this country like I do.”

ICE issued this statement: “Following last week’s decision by the U.S. District Court that his case should proceed in immigration court, Mr. Ramirez’s counsel requested a bond hearing with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. On Tuesday (March 28), an immigration judge granted Mr. Ramirez bond and he was released from the Northwest Detention Center after bond was posted today.

"Since his arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Feb. 10, Mr. Ramirez has remained in ICE custody. Mr. Ramirez’s attorneys have declined two separate opportunities for a custody redetermination, including cancelling a bond hearing before an immigration judge that was scheduled Feb. 23.”