Young adults who moved to this country and Oregon with their parents when they were very young, are being deported to a country where they’ve never lived, have no roots, and in some cases don’t even speak the language. The latest such misadventure in this area attracted a great deal of attention.
In violation of its own policies and procedures, ICE agents improperly seized Reynolds High School and Mt Hood Community College graduate, Rodriguez Dominguez, 25, from his Southeast Portland home in the early morning, Sunday March 26.
Dominguez is of a rapidly increasing number immigrants recently arrested who participate in President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which has not officially been revoked by President Donald Trump’s administration.
DACA was created by an Obama executive order which allows some undocumented immigrants arriving as children to receive renewable two-year deportation deferments.
ICE’s initial statements claim that when Dominguez pleaded guilty to DUI, he became a public safety threat. They failed to report that he had entered a court approved diversion program or that he is the soccer coach at Glenfair Elementary school and a volunteer at Holy Cross Episcopal Church and the Metropolitan Family Service food bank.
Had Clackamas County been asked to honor this ICE warrant, the likely outcome would have been another $100,000 lawsuit, since the ACLU is already involved.
What makes this case especially interesting is that, as soon as it became known that he was retained, hundreds of protesters arrived at the Portland ICE office, and local officials and Oregon members of Congress all made calls for his release.
The result is that he was released on the following Tuesday, pending a hearing. It is extremely unusual for a detainee to be released within 48 hours.
As a Dreamer brought to this country at the age of 5, having paid taxes and legally worked in this country for years, this is an extreme abuse of power and exceptionally bad judgement by ICE. One can only surmise that the Northwest region of ICE must be falling below its quotas for them to make such an egregious error.
It does seem to indicate that Clackamas County needs to step up its own protections of our neighbors.