An undocumented mother of two in Kentucky has been detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and faces possible deportation out of the United States, despite her legal status as a DACA recipient. In addition, her family has alleged that ICE told them DACA “doesn’t exist anymore” under Donald Trump, which is not true.
22-year-old Riccy Enriquez Perdomo was arrested on August 17th while attempting to pay the bail of another undocumented immigrant detained in Louisville, KY, the Cincinnati Equirer reported on Wednesday. While there, she was questioned about her own immigration status, and was told by officials that “she didn’t have DACA,” Enriquez Perdomo’s brother-in-law told the outlet.
Enriquez Perdomo entered the United States from Honduras at the age of nine, and was twice given legal status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—first in 2015, and again in late January of this year. According to the Enquirer, she had worked for Amazon until the recent birth of her youngest child.
“Somehow [ICE agents] said that she had a deportation order from when she was nine,” family friend and immigrant rights advocate Don Sherman told ThinkProgress.
While Univision reported on Wednesday that officials may be readying Enriquez Perdomo for release, as of Thursday morning she is still listed on the ICE website as being held in custody at the Pulaski County Jail in Illinois . According to her brother-in-law, the family contacted the Chicago-area ICE office, and were told: “When Trump came in, DACA doesn’t exist anymore.’”
“I couldn’t believe they told me that,” he added.
I have reached out to ICE’s national office and its office in Chicago for comment on Enriquez Perdomo’s arrest, and the comments made to her family, and will update this story with their response.
On Wednesday evening, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin released a statement in support of Enriquez Perdomo, saying:
“I’m disturbed by reports that a Dreamer with DACA protection has been detained. My office is in touch with ICE for an explanation. When he was Secretary of DHS, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly assured me that no one with DACA would lose this protection unless they violated the terms of the program, and I intend to hold him to that commitment.”
Despite now-WH Chief of Staff Kelly’s assurances, ICE acting director Thomas Homan has been unequivocal in his insistence that any and all undocumented immigrants—even those with legal status—could be detained.
“Of all people, this is the last person you need to fear,” Richard Cote, Enriquez Perdomo’s husband, told the Enquirer. “She always does the right thing.”
Update: 12:39 PM- On Thursday morning, Sherman told The Enquirer that Enriquez Perdomo’s family had been notified by ICE officials that she would be released that evening.
“I’m excited,” Enriquez Perdomo’s sister Rita Cote told the paper. “I am so happy. It has been a bad week.”
Update, 8/25/17: ICE responded to Splinter’s request for comment with the following statement about Enriquez Perdomo’s DACA status:
DHS databases indicated that she had been a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, during their review of her computer file, they saw that her DACA status expired on March 19, 2017. Only after further investigation was it determined that her DACA status had been renewed on Jan. 31, 2017.
Note: This story initially contained a quote from National Immigration Law Center official Ignacia Rodriguez given to ThinkProgress. However, the quote actually came from Don Sherman, and was misattributed to Rodriguez by ThinkProgress.