Yesterday ICE officers arrested and detained a 22-year old immigrant from Argentina after she talked in a news conference about immigrant rights. Her name is Daniela Vargas and she is a “dreamer” — which means she was brought into the country illegally as a child by her family.
The family came from Argentina on a visitor’s visa, which only lasted 3 months — and stayed past the visa and has lived “illegally” in Mississippi since.
Daniela had legal status to be in America because of her dreamer/DACA visa, and was supposed to keep her status as a dreamer by re-applying for an extension in her visa — but she missed the deadline last November. She said didn’t have the $495 for the application fee at the time — but have applied/paid the fee a few weeks ago.
Two weeks ago, her father and brother was arrested by ICE officers at their home in Mississippi. She decided to do a news conference yesterday to speak out against immigration raids/deportations. After she left the conference (drove away in her car) — two law enforcement cars pulled her over, handcuffed her, and she is now detained.
ICE said Daniela overstayed her dreamer/DACA visa and that’s why she is detained. Daniela’s lawyers hope she will be released and then appear before a federal immigration judge to decide if she will be exempt from deportation and allowed to stay.
This is a hot issue because of Daniela’s status as a dreamer/DACA — a category in which Trump said the government would be “easy” on — and because it appears she was targeted by ICE officers since she spoke out at a news conference.
ICE has said her visa did lapse, and it appears the ICE is very serious about any lapses in visas, even if they are dreamers.