Judge Denies Release for Washington State ‘Dreamer’

Protesters outside the federal court in Seattle demand the release of Daniel Ramirez Medina, who was picked up in an ICE raid last week despite permission to live and work in the United States. (Photo: June Williams)

SEATTLE (CN) – A federal magistrate on Friday refused to release a Mexican immigrant who is authorized to live and work in the United States, and ordered him to appear before an immigration judge for a bond hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Donohue required the bond hearing be held within one week.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, was arrested on immigration charges last week despite having temporary permission to live and work under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA or “Dreamers,” program.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Ramirez when they were at his home to arrest his father, and started deportation based on Ramirez’s alleged gang affiliation, according to immigration officials.

Ramirez’s attorneys aggressively disputed his gang ties at Friday’s preliminary hearing, where they requested his immediate release.

Theodore Boutrous Jr. said there was “not a single piece of evidence” showing his client is a gang member, and noted Ramirez had a thorough background check twice under the DACA vetting procedures.

Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Robins did not address the disputed facts of Ramirez’s detention and argued jurisdiction requires Ramirez to present his claims in an immigration court.

Donohue did not rule on jurisdiction regarding Ramirez’s civil rights claims and scheduled hearing on March 8 for those issues.

“I realize people in similar situations as Mr. Ramirez want answers,” Donohue said, but added that he wants to make sure the federal court, and not an immigration court, is the right place.