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“You Weren’t Born in This Country”


The following is an excerpt from Mark Joseph Stern | February 15, 2017 | Slate.com |

On Friday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old man whose parents illegally brought him to the United States from Mexico as a child. The federal government has granted Ramirez deferred action and an employment authorization card under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, allowing him to remain in the country and work lawfully despite being undocumented. (So far, Donald Trump has let DACA remain in place.) Ramirez renewed his DACA status in May for another two-year period, undergoing yet another background check. In renewing his status, the government confirmed that Ramirez met the requirements and issued documentation affirming his ability to remain in the U.S. He has not been convicted of a crime, nor does he pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Federal agents arrested Ramirez anyway. ICE’s treatment of Ramirez bears disturbing similarities to the behavior of Customs and Border Protection officers in the wake of Trump’s travel ban. CBP officers allegedly violated court orders, lied to lawful permanent residents and visa holders, rushed illegal deportations, and unlawfully detained travelers. When attorneys presented CBP officers with federal court orders allowing them access to detainees, the officers refused, “on CBP orders.” The Ramirez case raises the disturbing possibility that ICE has decided that, under Trump, it too is empowered to take the law into its own hands. And the agency’s willingness to flout Ramirez’s constitutional rights does not bode well for the hundreds of thousands of DACA beneficiaries whose liberty suddenly seems imperiled.

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