DACA recipient detained in Tacoma, fellow local DACA students react

Students protected by the Obama Administration's Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) are questioning their future after seeing a fellow DACA recipient arrested near Tacoma on Friday, Feb. 10.

The detention of Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, brings a feeling of uncertainty to WSU Tri-Cities senior Ana Sandoval and other members of the Dreamers Club.

"No one really is safe if they can just take whoever, even if they didn't have a warrant for him, he was in that home," said Sandoval when she heard Medina's story.

Like Sandoval, Medina is a DACA recipient. The program provides protection from deportation, allowing undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S.

Protesters in Tacoma are demanding Medina's release from the Northwest Detention Center. An ICE spokesperson said he is being held because he admitted to being a gang member, but Medina's attorney says that is not true. The ICE agents initially went to Medina's home with a warrant for his father. Now he is suing the government for his release.

"I thought we were here legally you know with authorization," said Sandoval.

Her family settled in the Tri-Cities after moving from Mexico when she was just 10 years old. She is scheduled to graduate at the end of this semester, and is planning to attend medical school to become a surgeon. But now her future is unclear.

"You thought OK well they're just taking out criminals but now really no one is safe even I am seen as a criminal just because I had an illegal (border) cross," said Sandoval.

President Trump addresses the future of the DACA program today in a press conference. 

"DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me," said President Trump. "In many cases, not all, in some cases they have the DACA, drug dealers and gang members too, but absolutely incredible kids."

"I didn't really get a message of support or anything so I'm just wondering how it's all going to play out in the end," said Sandoval after listening to the press conference.

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