Daniela Vargas is a DREAMer in the United States under DACA. She recently participated in a press conference about the deportation of illegal immigrants. Moments after the event was over, she was in ICE custody.

Sarah Fowler of The Clarion-Ledger reported:

Immigrant detained after press conference

Moments after an immigrant spoke out about her fears of deportation, she was detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Daniela Vargas, 22, was detained by ICE agents Wednesday morning, shortly after speaking at a news conference in downtown Jackson, according to her attorney, Abby Peterson.

The news conference was hosted by local immigration attorneys, churches and the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance to bring attention to families impacted by deportation.

Vargas’ brother and father were detained outside their home by ICE agents in February. Vargas hid in the closet. When she was discovered by agents, she was temporarily handcuffed and then released.

Vargas was 7 years old when her family came to America from Argentina, placing her under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, immigration policy. Under the policy, DACA recipients have to reapply every two years. Vargas’ DACA is expired but her renewal application is pending.

Peterson said she told agents via telephone Vargas had a pending DACA case.

However, agents reportedly told Peterson that Vargas was a “visa overstay” and will be detained.

Vargas has no bond and is in ICE detention.

Here’s a video report from Wochit News:

Adolfo Flores of BuzzFeed has more:

DREAMer Arrested Moments After Speaking Out Against Deportations At A News Conference

Vargas’s attorney, Abigail Peterson, told BuzzFeed News that Vargas had filed to renew her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, which gives her protection from deportation, on Feb. 10, and so she was surprised she was detained.

“I don’t know if this is immigration showing us that DACA applicants are fair game until their DACA is approved,” Peterson said. “This seems to be the message we’re getting from this, which is surprising and not what I would’ve expected.”

In a statement, Thomas Byrd, a spokesperson for ICE, said Vargas was arrested “during a targeted immigration enforcement action in Jackson, Mississippi.”

“ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately,” Byrd said…

Vargas’s friend told Peterson that ICE agents said, “You know who we are, you know what we’re here for” when they were pulled over.

Featured image via YouTube.


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