Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) issued the following statement after news of the arrest of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient living in Seattle with his father:
“President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has given thousands of people who know no other home than the U.S. the opportunity to be members of our community, have jobs, go to school and raise a family. Because of Congress’ refusal to pass comprehensive immigration reform, DACA has been a critical avenue for people who were brought here as children to live and work in the U.S. without fear of being detained or deported. It has helped break down walls in our communities and made them safer.
“The DACA program remains the current law of the land and DACA recipients continue to have the legal right to live and work in our country.
“Information about the arrest of a DACA recipient last Friday remains scarce and questions remain unanswered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). More details should be released about what led to this arrest, including whether the detention of a DACA recipient is a shift in immigration policy related to DACA recipients. We have sought these answers from ICE’s Seattle Field Office.
“Additionally, given the uncertainty around President Trump’s immigration policies, the Administration and ICE should clarify their stance on this policy. Uncertainty and ambiguity lead to fear in the immigrant community. No person should live in fear that they or a family member will be taken away by the federal government without notice or cause. This fear makes our communities less safe as it makes immigrants less likely to report crimes or work with local law enforcement. And it robs our friends and neighbors of the American dream they were promised whenever they came to our country.
“We want to remind our residents that no City of Seattle official will ever ask about your immigration status. And the Seattle Police Department will not help ICE detain and deport immigrants who are doing nothing more than raising their families and contributing to the vibrant culture and successful economy of our city.
“However, please also know that ICE officials still have the power and jurisdiction to enter into the boundaries of Seattle and conduct these harmful actions without notifying the City. If you are an immigrant, we advise that you review two online video presentations produced by our partners Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo. These have important Know Your Rights information that you should understand during this uncertain time: https://www.facebook.com/WAimmigrantsolidaritynetwork/videos/“
Mayor Murray and Councilmember Gonzalez are requesting details of the arrest from Seattle’s local ICE office this evening. The Mayor’s Office, Council and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will continue actively monitoring this incident and any other reports of immigration enforcement activities happening within Washington state.