Judge Ricardo S. Martinez: “Most troubling to the Court, is the continued assertion that Mr. Ramirez is gang-affiliated, despite providing no evidence… Indeed, the Immigration Judge, after reviewing all evidence submitted by respondent, that Mr. Ramirez was credible, and that he was not in a gang or associated with one.”
“…the Court finds that Defendants’ continued assertion that Plaintiff is a gang member or gang-affiliated is arbitrary and capricious…”
For Immediate Release
UWD: Sheridan Aguirre | email@example.com | 202.793.2267
Legal Team: Manny Rivera | 323.892.2080
Seattle, Wash. – On May 15, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted DACA beneficiary Daniel Ramirez Medina’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, restoring his DACA status until his federal case has been resolved and enjoining USCIS “from asserting, adopting, or relying in any proceedings on any statement or record made as of this date purporting to allege or establish that Mr. Ramirez is a gang member, gang affiliated, or a threat to public safety.”
To read the Court’s order, click here.
Ethan Dettmer, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, and a member of Daniel’s legal team, said:
“This is a victory for Daniel and for the rule of law. The government’s unlawful actions against this young man and their continued attempt to brand him as a gang member are wrong, and the harm they caused is very real. Daniel was detained for nearly two months as a result of these falsehoods. We are pleased that the Court has recognized that the government cannot make these false statements, and rectified this breach of public trust.”
Ambar Pinto, DACA recipient and National Hotline Manager at United We Dream, said:
“Today we can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that Daniel’s DACA was rightfully restored and that ICE agents are barred from ever again using their blatant lies about gang membership to terrorize Daniel and tear him apart from his son.
“But we won’t slow down on holding the agencies under the Department of Homeland Security accountable for the actions they take to strip us from our protections. Together we helped ensure that Daniel’s life was spared, but elsewhere in the U.S., we know that deportation agents emboldened by Trump’s inhumane rhetoric and deport-them-all agenda are taking one look at our skin color, our body art, listening to our accents, looking at where we live — and abusing their unchecked authority to drive us out.
“We will continue to believe in love, power, transformation and miracles. We are #HereToStay and we will continue to protect our families, communities, and democracy.”
Background: Daniel Ramirez Medina was arrested in February 2017, without a warrant or probable cause, detained without due process, and arbitrarily stripped of his DACA status. Prior to his arrest, Daniel had passed stringent background tests on three separate occasions, and was granted DACA status and protections in accordance with established policy in 2014 and 2016. During and after his arrest, federal agents ignored Daniel’s legal status and work permit, falsely accused him of gang affiliation without any credible evidence, and failed to follow even their own internal procedures throughout the process, resulting in tremendous and entirely avoidable harm to Daniel. To review the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, click here.
On April 3, in compliance with a preliminary injunction order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in a separate case—Inland Empire- Immigrant Youth Collective v. Nielsen—the federal government restored Daniel’s DACA and work authorization. Simultaneously, however, the government also delivered Daniel a Notice of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) his just-restored DACA status. Faced with a court order requiring the government to restore Daniel’s DACA status, the government immediately began proceedings to wrongfully strip him of his DACA status yet again, based on the same false pretext. The government’s stated basis for issuing the NOIT is its continued wrongful insistence that Daniel poses a public safety concern because he allegedly is gang affiliated—despite the government’s admission in Immigration Court that it had no evidence to support such a claim and an Immigration Judge’s recent finding that Daniel was not in a gang or ever associated with one. Furthermore, Daniel was several times vetted by the Department of Homeland Security and no evidence of gang affiliation was ever found. Daniel’s legal team submitted evidence from leading gang experts in the U.S. that supported the fact that Daniel’s tattoo has no connection with any gang. This evidence was never challenged by the government.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.