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Immigrant advocates concerned about 'Dreamer' apprehended by ICE


Daniela Vargas, an Argentine native who is a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, speaks at a March 1 news conference on the steps of the Jackson Police Department in Mississippi. Vargas spoke about her father and brother facing possible deportation. Immediately after the news conference, federal officers took her into custody because her DACA status has expired. She has reapplied, but the process can take months to complete. (CNS photo/Tereza Ma, Mississippi Catholic)

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JACKSON, Miss. (CNS) -- Pastors, attorneys, immigrants and immigrants' advocates gathered at City Hall in Jackson March 1 to express their concerns about recent immigration raids.

They also invited the community at large to attend a forum to discuss the contributions immigrants make to Mississippi and seek dialogue with law enforcement representatives.

Immediately after the news conference, one of the immigrants who spoke was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Daniela Vargas is a 22-year-old Argentine native, but America is the only home she has ever known. She was covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, but those applications have to be renewed every two years. She reapplied late because she had trouble getting together the money for the application, so her coverage had lapsed. The car in which she was riding was pulled over by federal agents as she left the news conference.

This was not her first run-in with ICE. Agents arrested her father and brother at her home earlier this year while she hid in a closet. ICE agents eventually raided the house and detained her for a short time, but released her when she indicated that she had applied for DACA. Her father and brother are awaiting deportation hearings.

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