After 46 days in a Tacoma, Washington, immigration detention center, 24-year-old father Daniel Ramirez Medina has finally been released. Though Ramirez was born in Mexico — he arrived in the U.S. at the age of seven — he was protected by President Obama’s DACA program. At the time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said Ramirez had gang affiliations and that he was a “risk to public safety.” Ramirez, who had no criminal record, had a birthday while in custody.
Ramirez was met by his brother at the Tacoma Northwest Federal Detention Center, Komo News reports.
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) March 30, 2017
In the heartwarming video posted by the AP, Ramirez is seen embracing his brother in a hug. Shortly after, agents at the facility said, “He’s free to go.”
The two brothers then left the facility together.
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) March 30, 2017
After being released, Ramirez gave a short statement to reporters.
'Dreamer' Daniel Ramirez-Medina thanks supporters shortly after his release from the Northwest Detention Center: pic.twitter.com/S4VpsIvL69
— Joshua Lyle (@joshlyle) March 30, 2017
“I want to say thank you to everyone. To all the people who helped me and to all of the DREAMers as well.”
In a video statement, Ramirez’s lawyers told reporters, “We’re very happy that Daniel was released today obviously its a very emotional day.”
Later, reporters were provided a longer statement from Ramirez’s lawyers.
Seattle Dreamer Daniel Ramirez Medina released after more than six weeks in custody. https://t.co/DJSKX6LUGR
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) March 30, 2017
As CBS reported, Ramirez’s lawyers gave the following statement:
“I’m so happy to be reunited with my family today and can’t wait to see my son,” it said. “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.”
During his time in custody, Komo News reports, Ramirez was subjected to numerous questions about his “gang affiliation.”
Ramirez, who has a tattoo that caught ICE’s suspicion, adamantly denied any involvement with gangs. Ramirez said the tattoo on his arm honored the place of his birth, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Medina’s lawyers have questioned ICE’s conduct, saying they want to question how ICE agents interpreted the the tattoo as a “gang tattoo.”
Though Ramirez is now free, the 24-year-old father’s future in the United States is still uncertain.
— SeattleTimes Opinion (@SeaTimesOpinion) March 18, 2017
Ramirez’s freedom came at a hefty price of $15,000. NBC News reports that Judge John Odell approved his release after Ramirez posted the bond. Ramirez is now awaiting deportation hearings.
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