On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to fight hard against illegal immigration. Since taking office, Trump has showed no signs of backing down from that promise. In fact, Trump issued an executive order compelling authorities to step up enforcement just days after his inauguration.
Of course, not everyone agrees with the President Trump’s actions. In the most recent example, one of the “dreamers” protected under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals spoke out against deportation at a press conference. However, the public appearance may have been a huge mistake.
From the Daily Mail:
A young woman was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as she left a press conference where she had urged President Donald Trump to protect so-called ‘Dreamers’ like her who are in the process of renewing permission to remain in the United States legally.
Daniela Vargas, 22, who is originally from Argentina, was detained by ICE agents who pulled over a friend’s car on a nearby freeway after she left a coalition of clergy and civil rights lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi.
Miss Vargas, who is eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, said at the press conference: ‘A path for citizenship is necessary for DACA recipients but also for the other 11 million undocumented people with dreams.’
She recalled watching ICE agents taking away her father and brother and said: ‘I was scared for my life.’
The news of her detention sparked immediate backlash from Democrats:
Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, tweeted: ‘Talking publicly about fears of deportation is not a crime and should not get someone detained.’
Another senator, Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, said he was seeking more information on her case from the Department of Homeland Security.
Sen Durbin tweeted: ‘Disturbing that ICE may have followed her from an immigration press conference.’
However, ICE agents were completely justified in detaining Vargas, as her protected status under DACA expired over three months ago, and she has yet to be approved for renewal:
Vargas’ DACA status expired in November and she applied to renew it last month after saving up for the $495 application fee.
When asked about Vargas, an ICE spokesman defended the agency:
ICE spokesman Thomas Byrd said Vargas was taken into custody in a ‘targeted immigration enforcement action’ after the agency verified her DACA status had lapsed.
He said: ‘ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.’
ICE said a federal immigration judge would now ‘decide whether or not she is eligible for immigration relief’.
Regardless of what the judge ultimately rules, it is probably unwise for someone without proper documentation to be making public appearances in front of the press. Although Vargas talked about her fear of being deported, she brought attention to herself by holding a press conference. That’s never a smart move.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]