‘DREAMer’ detained after immigrant conference

After speaking at a news conference about her fear of deportation, 22-year old Daniela Vargas was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] officials.

Vargas, who was brought to the United States at the age of 7 from Argentina, was granted protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in 2012. In November, Vargas’ DACA status expired, which made her vulnerable to deportation until she re-applied. Her renewal application was pending when she was detained.

Vargas previously had an altercation with ICE officials in February when her brother and father were detained outside their home. ICE found her hiding in her closet and handcuffed her, but eventually released her due to her pending DACA case. She planned to go into hiding but came out to speak at the conference.

Vargas told the audience that she still hoped to live and work in the United States as a university math professor despite her brother and father likely being deported. As she drove away from the conference with a friend, ICE agents pulled her over and detained her.

“Today, my father and brother await deportation while I continue to fight this battle as a DREAMer to help contribute to this country, which I feel is very much my country,” Vargas said. DREAM refers to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act which serves to provide permanent resident status to young undocumented immigrants.

“Now, I’m not so sure my dream will continue to develop,” Vargas said. “A path for citizenship is necessary for DACA recipients but also for the other 11 million undocumented people with dreams.”

Vargas has no bond and is in ICE detention.

Information gathered from latimes.com and clarionledger.com.

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