1: Daniela Vargas, 22, was born in Argentina and was brought by her parents to the U.S. when she was age 7 on a US visitors’ visa. They never left the country and have been living in the U.S. ever since.
2: Vargas qualified for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA immigration policy and was granted the two-year protection twice – in December 2012 and in November 2014.
3: Vargas graduated high school in 2013. Her DACA protection is currently expired since her renewal application is pending. Her latest DACA status had expired in November 2016 and she applied to renew it mid-February, after she came up with the $495 application fee.
4: Vargas has been enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi, aspiring to be a math professor. On Wednesday, she was part of a news conference hosted by local Mississippi immigration attorneys, churches and the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance to bring attention to families impacted by deportation. She shared how her brother and father were detained outside their home in the state by ICE agents in February and how she hid in a closet but was discovered by ICE agents. She was temporarily handcuffed and then released because of the pending DACA application.
5: Vargas and a friend who drove to the news conference were pulled over by ICE agents soon after they left the presser. She was immediately detained and taken into custody. Her friend was released. Vargas is being held without bond and is in ICE detention. Since she came into the country on a visa waiver program, Vargas could be processed without a hearing, her attorney has said. ICE spokesman, Thomas Byrd, said in a statement that Vargas was taken into custody in a “targeted immigration enforcement action” after the agency verified that her DACA status had lapsed. A federal immigration judge will now “decide whether or not she is eligible for immigration relief,” the statement said.
6: Before being detained Wednesday, Vargas said she planned to move out of state with her mother and pursue her dream of being a university math professor.
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