UPDATE: March 27, 2017 - After a massive public outcry, Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez was released on bond from ICE detention. Read more.
Community Groups Demand the Release of the DACA Recipient
March 26, 2017 - Early this morning Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents picked up Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez without a warrant at his home in southeast Portland. Rodriguez Dominguez, 25, has been part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since 2013.
“His family said it was terrifying and they didn’t know what to do. ICE agents were banging on the door. They didn’t have a warrant, and were told they couldn’t come in, but they wouldn’t stop banging on the door,” said Stephen Manning, a local immigration lawyer who talked with the family.
Rodriguez Dominguez arrived in the United States at the age of five from Morelia Michoacan, Mexico. He has lived in the Portland metro area since then and attended Glenfair Elementary School, H.B. Lee Middle School, Reynolds High School, and Mt. Hood Community College to study information technology.
Rodriguez Dominguez works for Latino Network, a community organization, where he coordinates a food pantry for low income families at Reynolds Middle School in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank and Multnomah County SUN Community Schools initiative. He also coaches a soccer team at Glenfair Elementary.
“Everyone loves Francisco. I don’t know how we will tell the kids, families, and school staff he works with about this. They are going to be heartbroken to hear he has been taken away,” said Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network.
Dominguez Rodriguez is an active member and volunteer at Holy Cross Episcopal Church where he provides IT support and works on communications for the church.
“Francisco is an important member of our community. Our congregation was devastated when they hear the news this morning,” said Father Roberto Maldonado, priest at Holy Cross Episcopal.
In December 2016, Francisco entered into a DUI diversion program. He quickly completed nearly all of the requirements of this program, attended all his court dates and required meetings.
“Despite Francisco’s best efforts to make good on his mistake, ICE has taken the position that even a misdemeanor DUI eligible for diversion is enough to end DACA status. This policy is tearing apart his family, our communities, and does nothing to keep us safer.” said Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa Oregon, an Oregon immigrant rights organization.
Williams said families can call the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition hotline at (888) 622-1510 or the ACLU of Oregon immigration hotline at (971) 412-2258 if they encounter ICE agents.
Mat dos Santos, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said the events this morning represented a disturbing and confusing action taken by ICE.
“We were shocked to learn that Francisco had been picked up this morning. A judge had already determined that he wasn’t a danger to the community or a flight risk. So, why is ICE showing up at his house early on Sunday morning? These kind of brutal tactics do not keep us safe. It just makes people scared to live their lives and pushes immigrant communities further into the shadows.” said dos Santos.
Dos Santos said everyone in the United States is protected by the United States Constitution.
“If ICE shows up at your door without a warrant signed by a judge, you don’t have to open it to answer questions. If ICE claims to have a warrant, you should ask agents to slip it under the door or hold it up to a window.”
The groups are calling on ICE to release Rodriguez Dominguez and have asked community members to call ICE on his behalf at (253) 779-6000 x 14.