Arrest of 'dreamer' immigrant could be first under Trump to defy DACA

Trump says he will treat Dreamers 'with heart'

"We are hoping this detention was a mistake", Dettmer said.

The government says Mr. Ramirez not only had a gang tattoo, but said he admitted he used to "hang out" with the Sureno gang in California, fled that state to get away from gangs, and but still "hangs out" with the Paizas gang in Washington.

Immigration officials said he was taken into custody based "on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety".

Richeson declined to elaborate further on how ICE established the man was a member of a gang. Mendoza, in a statement issued by attorney Mark Rosenbaum, vehemently denied the charge.

"While in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation", Rosenbaum said.

Recent sweeps by US immigration agents across multiple states have netted some immigrants with no criminal records, a departure from enforcement actions in the last decade.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had meant to arrest his father at home in Seattle, but also detained Mr Ramirez.

President Donald Trump is known for his harsh rhetoric on immigration. "They are here illegally". He says a difference in approach under the new president is already very apparent.

"I do have a big heart", he said. "Seeing the actions, seeing his polices come to life, it does not convince me one bit he's going to help us out". We're going to have a very strong border.

The Justice Department said in the brief that after ICE agents went to execute a warrant against Ramirez's father, Ramirez "answered "yes" to the question of whether he was "illegally" in the United States" and that he answered "yes" when asked whether he had ever been arrested. Reuters viewed a document attached to the lawsuit that appeared to confirm his DACA approval.

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Gang membership disqualifies any protections offered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by former President Barack Obama.

Legal experts say that unless the Trump administration revokes the program, DACA recipients should still be protected. "We certainly haven't seen this with our other hundreds of clients who have DACA status as well".

His attorneys say the arrest violates his constitutional rights to live and work in the U.S. without the fear of arrest and deportation.

"The more they kept pressuring him about gangs, the wider the scope of the questions came in", said Luis Cortes, one of the attorneys on the case.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not comment on Medina's tattoo or how it was interpreted.

An officer stands guard recently in the solitary-confinement area of the new Northwest Detention Center, an immigration holding facility in Tacoma. Agents were urged to exercise caution when detaining immigrants with USA citizen children, family members of military personnel, and people who otherwise have longstanding ties to their communities.

He also said the government fabricated evidence this week when it took a document Mr. Ramirez filed where he stated he wasn't a gang member, and erased words to make it look like he was a gang member.

Immigration agents detained 680 people in raids across at least seven states last week, which Homeland Security Sec.

At this point it is unclear if Ramirez Medina is facing deportation as immigration officials have not filed a deportation order against him.

He's never been convicted of a crime, has a valid work permit and a job.