More details are emerging about the sweep that led U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest three "Dreamers" in the Portland area over the past week.
But more questions than answers remain about the agency's enforcement tactics in the era of President Donald Trump, particularly in so-called sanctuary cities such as Portland that the administration seeks to make an example of.
According to the Associated Press, a three-day ICE operation in Washington, Oregon and Alaska led to the arrest of 84 people—24 of whom had no criminal records, despite President Donald Trump's assurances that his deportation push is targeting "bad hombres."
And as WW first reported Tuesday, at least three people arrested by ICE in the last week had at one point received protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, enacted under the Obama administration to allow limited clemency to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Recipients of the DACA program are known colloquially as "Dreamers."
ICE previously addressed the case one of those arrested Dreamers, Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez, who was released on bond Monday after protests outside the agency's Southwest Portland office.
Today, ICE issued statements about the two other Dreamers known to be arrested last week, including one young man whose family and supporters have raised concerns about his medical condition while in ICE custody in Tacoma, Wash.
Emmanuel Ayala Frutos, 21, was arrested three days after a fingerprinting appointment necessary to renew his DACA enrollment. He came to the U.S. at age 6. Earlier this year, he was struck by a car.
As of last week, Ayala Frutos was still using a wheelchair to get around, according to family members and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The ACLU said he did not have his wheelchair with him when he was arrested by ICE.
Today's statement on his case from ICE's regional spokesperson Rose Richeson explains the process for medical evaluation of detainees at ICE's Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, run by the private prison contractor GEO Group.
However, the statement does not address whether Ayala Frutos received a wheelchair or his prescription medication for bipolar disorder. (His family has said he has medication but not a wheelchair.)
A separate ICE statement notes that the arrests of DACA recipients "fall into the agency's enforcement priorities, including threats to national security or public safety." According to the ACLU, a Clark County, Wash., judge determined that based on the circumstances of Ayala Frutos's sole criminal offense, in which he displayed a butterfly knife, he "was not a danger to the community."
ICE's Richeson also released a statement on a second DACA recipient arrested last week, Luis Gerado Zazueta, saying he "was targeted for immigration enforcement based on a prior felony drug conviction."
Zazueta was 18 when he was arrested on a marijuana-related charge in 2014, the same year Oregon voted to legalize recreational use of the drug.
ICE's statement does not mention that the drug charge is for cannabis.
Both ICE statements follow.
ICE Statement on Luis Zazueta
Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Mr. Zazueta March 23. He was targeted for immigration enforcement based on a prior felony drug conviction. Mr. Zazueta was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center where he remains in ICE custody awaiting the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.
ICE Statement on Emmanuel Ayala-Frutos
Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Mr. Ayala March 26. He was targeted for immigration enforcement based on prior criminal convictions. Mr. Ayala was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) where he remains in ICE custody awaiting the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.
ICE is committed to ensuring the health and welfare of all those in its custody. Following their arrival at the NWDC, all detainees receive medical, dental and mental health intake screenings, to include interviews by qualified health staff to identify any known medical conditions. When a medical condition is identified, the detainee is scheduled to see a medical provider within 24 hours for a full physical evaluation. Medications are ordered and provided through the onsite pharmacy and referrals to specialists outside the facility are facilitated, as indicated. Detainees who arrive at a detention facility with prescribed medications, or who report being on such medications, are evaluated by a qualified health care professional as soon as possible and provisions are made to secure medically necessary medications.
Here’s a link to ICE’s latest Performance Based National Detention Standards – see Part 4 for more information on detainee healthcare.