PORTLAND, Ore. – A 25-year-old man who had been allowed to stay in the U.S. because he was brought illegally into the country as a child was detained Sunday by immigration agents, activists said.
Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez was picked up at his home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, immigration lawyer Stephen Manning said. The leader of an immigrant rights group said the agency detained him because he has a misdemeanor for DUI, but officials with the agency did not return a newspaper's call for comment.
Rodriguez Dominguez arrived in the U.S. from Mexico when he was 5 years old, the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement. He has lived in the Portland area since then, the ACLU said.
Rodriguez Dominguez helps run a food pantry at the Latino Network, a community organization, and coaches a soccer team at an elementary school, the ACLU said.
"Everyone loves Francisco. I don't know how we will tell the kids, families, and school staff he works with about this. They are going to be heartbroken to hear he has been taken away," said Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network.
Rodriguez Dominguez participates in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which grants two years of permission to work and protection from deportation to certain immigrants in the country illegally who came to the U.S. as children, the ACLU said. These immigrants are known as "Dreamers."
Rodriguez Dominguez has a misdemeanor for DUI, the ACLU said. In December, Rodriguez Dominguez entered a DUI diversion program and completed nearly all of the requirement, including going to court hearings and attending required meetings.
"Despite Francisco's best efforts to make good on his mistake, ICE has taken the position that even a misdemeanor DUI eligible for diversion is enough to end DACA status. This policy is tearing apart his family, our communities, and does nothing to keep us safer." said Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa Oregon, an Oregon immigrant rights organization.
The Oregonian/Oregonlive reported that Immigrations and Custom Enforcement officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
In February, authorities in Seattle took into custody a 23-year-old Dreamer named Daniel Ramirez Medina. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he is an admitted gang member, but he denies the allegation. He is being held at a detention center in Tacoma.