A Mexican immigrant with a work permit who was arrested by U.S. authorities was released from federal custody on Wednesday while legal proceedings over his immigration status continue. Nathan Frandino reports.
Daniel Ramirez walking free in Seattle after federal authorities released him on Wednesday. He's the Mexican immigrant with a work permit arrested last month, setting off a legal battle with ICE over his immigration status. UPSOUND: "It's been a very, very long road." He had been in custody for 46 days. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DANIEL RAMIREZ, DACA RECIPIENT, SAYING: "I am doing well and I am very grateful for everyone who supported me and all the DREAMers as well." DREAMers - immigrants like him who were brought to the country illegally as children - protested Ramirez's arrest in February. They were given protection from deportation under an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Rolando Avila is also a DACA recipient. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLANDO AVILA, DACA RECIPIENT, SAYING: "Part of me was really relieved, then just realizing that there are many Daniels out there who need our help." ICE officials claim Ramirez has gang ties, though his record only includes one speeding ticket. Avila and others are watching the Ramirez case closely, worried that other Dreamers could also be swept up in a more aggressive immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLANDO AVILA, DACA RECIPIENT, SAYING: "If the administration thinks that they're going to bully or scare us into going back into the shadows, they're wrong." There are about 750,000 DACA recipients in the U.S., all fighting for a chance to stay.