A friend was driving Daniela Vargas, 22, away from the news conference when they were pulled over by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Jackson, Mississippi. This came just two weeks after Vargas's father and brother were detained by Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents. According to her friend, Peterson said, four officers opened the doors to her friend's auto, took Vargas out, handcuffed her and took her into custody.
"One day my daughter came to me and say, 'Mommy, that's right that they going to send you back to Mexico?' And I say, I couldn't know what to answer, you know?" She hid in a cupboard for hours, but was eventually found by armed immigration officers before being questioned and released. "And now she's an adult trying to assert her own rights", Peterson said. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who entered the USA before the age of 16 can receive two-year work authorization permits.
Rhetoric aside, it's too early to know how the Trump administration's immigration enforcement numbers will stack up against the Obama administration's. Vargas was previously a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - often referred to as "Dreamers" - but her status had recently expired.
An ICE spokeswoman said agents initially were after two people, both of whom had multiple prior arrests and one of whom had a prior conviction, when they stopped the vehicles on a highway outside Woodburn on February 24.
"ICE respects the employment related rights of all workers, regardless of immigration status", the ICE official said.
Vargas remains in federal custody as she awaits a hearing before an immigration judge.More news: National Basketball Association trade tracker: Pelicans get DeMarcus Cousins
"ICE's assertion that her detention is "routine" is absurd and seems anything but". "Talking publicly about fears of deportation is not a crime and should not get someone detained", Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California.
Sen Durbin tweeted: 'Disturbing that ICE may have followed her from an immigration press conference'. "North Carolina residents are safer today thanks to the professionalism and hard work of these dedicated officers". Even if the government is truly trying to target criminals, "the reality on the ground is that they are picking up lots of people who either don't have any criminal convictions or they have low level misdemeanors or have crossed the border a couple of times and have been deported which then becomes a criminal offense".
Vargas' detention is putting even more of a spotlight on what so many undocumented immigrants in the United States are facing since Trump took office.
The Guardian reported that Trump has since reinstated the Secure Communities Program, an initiative commissioned under the Bush administration that expanded information sharing between local police and federal immigration agencies. "Sanctuary cities concern me because they are creating a public safety issue and are creating issues for the men and women who work for me". "If we're not exercising discretion for people like Daniela, then where do we exercise discretion?"
A young woman arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in MS on Wednesday could be deported as early as this week, her attorney says.