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During last night’s State of the Union address, Trump criminalized our community in order to convince the country that immigrants should be denied their humanity and freedom. Lies, shame and abuse — this is how Trump and the deportation force justifies holding us in detention camps. Here United We Dream presents two more stories and reasons for why Congress must reject Trump’s wall and defund ICE and CBP.
#1 – Miguel Reyes, falsely accused of gang membership
Miguel Reyes is a DACA recipient from New Jersey who was detained in December 2017 after being pulled over by ICE agents on his way to get coffee. When asked for ID, he showed his DACA work permit. ICE agents took it up and falsely accused him of gang membership and detained him. While detained, ICE got in contact with USCIS to revoke his DACA. After 3 months, he was released on bond and formed part of the class action lawsuit that now requires USCIS to follow a due process in revoking DACA and continues to fight his deportation case outside of detention.
Miguel Reyes, 27, DACA recipient, said in an April 2018 press call:
“For two weeks I had no contact with the outside world. I was isolated and had no money to eat or make phone calls. I had to ask for favors in order to make a call.
“Being in prison was difficult because they don’t give you water, they don’t give you food — sometimes the food is already rotten or expired. The toilets have fungus. The water used to wash the floors is also used to wipe down tables.
“The blankets have fibers that prick you. The air conditioning is turned up to the max all day and all night, sometimes they don’t turn off the lights and it’s hard to sleep…they won’t open doors so you can go out to the bathroom.
“Even though I’m home, my deportation case continues. Even though I have DACA, the racism I confronted has left me traumatized. The way ICE treated me and racially profiled me because of my skin color and tattoos was wrong.”
IN THE NEWS:
- Conexion Migrante, 02/2018: En defensa de Miguel, beneficiario de DACA arrestado
#2 – Daniel Ramirez Medina, who ICE lied and forged documents about to keep him detained
Daniel Ramirez Medina is a father of a U.S. citizen who became the first public case of a DACA recipient detained by ICE under Trump’s administration in February 2017. Despite having no criminal history, ICE falsely accused him of gang affiliation and repeatedly lied and forged documents to keep him locked up at a Tacoma, Wash. detention camp for over a month. After he was released, he formed part of the class action lawsuit that now requires USCIS to follow a due process in revoking DACA.
Daniel Ramirez Medina, in an excerpt from his Washington Post op-ed, said:
“I was detained and brought here on Feb. 10, just over a month after moving from the Central Valley in California to the Seattle area to find a better job to support my family. It has been difficult to keep a positive outlook. It’s gray here, and I mostly keep to myself, except for the prayer group I attend twice a day. To pass the time, I recently started learning how to make origami animals to give to my son when I see him again.
“But being in here, my mind races. Before this, I never thought that I would end up in a news headline or have my name become a hashtag on social media. I was supposed to be one of the lucky ones.”
IN THE NEWS:
- Seattle Times, 05/2018: Seattle judge blocks U.S. from revoking man’s DACA protection; orders feds to stop saying he has gang ties
- Washington Post, 03/2017: Daniel Ramirez Medina: I’m a ‘dreamer,’ but immigration agents detained me anyway
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.