(Daniel Ramirez Medina/Public Counsel via AP, File)

Arrested Dreamer Speaks Out: ‘The Government Already Knows I’m Not a Gang Member.’

Daniel Ramirez Medina spent his 24th birthday detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, the Des Moines man arrested by immigration agents last month despite his enrollment in the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program, has written an op-ed defending himself as a hard-working American and dedicated father.

In the piece, published this morning by the Washington Post, Ramirez says the government knows he’s not part of a gang, despite what immigration officials have said in court filings.

“The government already knows that I’m not a gang member. Like all ‘dreamers,’ I gave all of my personal information and fingerprints to the government to qualify for DACA. I’ve been checked against every state and federal database. They verified twice that I have no criminal history, was never affiliated with any gang and was not a threat to public safety. Despite that, I was treated as though my DACA status and my work authorization meant nothing,” Ramirez writes.

Ramirez says that, beyond a tattoo that agents say shows Ramirez’s gang affiliation but Ramirez insists is just an homage to his hometown, agents suspected him of gang activity in part because his family first settled in the Central Valley of California. “They are all gang members there, they told me. It didn’t seem to matter how many times I told them that I wasn’t,” he writes.

You can read the whole op-ed here.

Ramirez is being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Sara Bernard today published a profile of a local organization that is working to help those detained at the center. You can read it here.

Ramirez was 23 when he was arrested. Now he’s 24. Last week he spent his birthday in detention.