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The Department of Homeland Security continues to push back against immigrant groups and defense lawyers who claimed federal immigration officers did not have legal authority to detain a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Seattle last Friday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested “Dreamer” Daniel Ramirez-Medina during national immigration enforcement operations last week. The incident, reported on Tuesday, is the first known time officers have taken into custody a non-U.S. citizen who had legal permission from the Obama administration to remain in the country, prompting immigrant rights’ groups to worry that President Trump has begun to deport the 750,000 DACA recipients.

After denying the claims on Tuesday, DHS responded with a stronger rebuke on Wednesday evening, further asserting the federal government’s right to remove Ramirez-Medina.

“Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, aliens granted deferred action from deportation who are subsequently found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time and DHS may seek their removal from the United States,” a DHS press release states.

“This includes those who have been arrested or convicted of certain crimes, or those who are associated with criminal gangs” who have not yet been convicted of any crimes.

Approximately 1,500 DACA recipients have had their status revoked due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation or criminal conviction related to a gang affiliation.

The 23-year-old illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico as a child and was later given a work permit to stay. While visiting his father’s home late last week, officers arrived to arrest his father, who is a previously deported felon, according to DHS.

The son, who was visiting from Tacoma, Wash., does not have a criminal record, but was also picked up after telling ICE officials he was part of a gang.

“Mr. Ramirez — a self-admitted gang member — was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested Feb. 10 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review,” Rose Richeson, ICE spokesperson, said in a statement.

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“ICE officers took Mr. Ramirez into custody based on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety.”

Ramirez’s lawyers filed a challenge in Seattle federal court on Monday. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Ethan Dettmer said he was not aware of any similar cases and is “hoping this detention was a mistake.”

Mark Rosenbaum, counsel for Medina, responded to ICE’s statement later on Tuesday, calling it untrue.

“Mr. Ramirez unequivocally denies being in a gang. While in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation. The statement issued tonight by Ms. Richeson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is inaccurate,” Rosenbaum said in a statement.

The suit asks that Ramirez be immediately released and not rearrested. The judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday

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Federal immigration agents have recently arrested more than 680 illegal immigrants who they say pose a threat to public safety and border security as part of a string of standard enforcement operations carried out across six states last week. Approximately 510 of those individuals had criminal records in addition to lacking legal presence or lawful status to be in the U.S., DHS Secretary John Kelly said Monday.

Last week’s move came two weeks after President Trump signed an executive order directing immigration agents to fully implement the laws outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, prompting some to label the operations an inaugural move to deport illegal aliens.

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