The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is set to release Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant who was detained shortly after she spoke out against the federal agency at a press conference, the Clarion Ledger reported Friday.
“We expect Daniela to return to her friends and community in Mississippi shortly to resume her daily life and pursue her dreams,” her attorney Abby Peterson said. “Court filings regarding the reason and manner of arrest and detention continue to be pursued in an effort to secure Daniela’s rights. We maintain our commitment to the rights of all persons in the US, regardless of immigration status. We appreciate the ongoing support and work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and the many others who have come out in support of Daniela.”
Vargas will be released on Friday on an Order of Supervision from the LaSalle Detention Center in Jena, Louisiana, the publication reported.
Thomas Byrd, a ICE Public Affairs Officer, told ThinkProgress that the agency “has no further comment on this case at this time.”
On March 1, federal immigration agents arrested Vargas — a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who was once granted temporary legal permission to stay in the country — shortly after she spoke about immigrant rights. As her friend was driving her away from the press conference, ICE agents stopped the car and took Vargas into custody.
The ICE agency initially said it would deport Vargas without a court hearing because she entered the country from Argentina at the age of seven under a visa waiver program, which waives her right to contest her removal.
Vargas had been a DACA beneficiary between 2012 and 2016, but her legal work authorization lapsed in November 2016 when she did not have $495 to pay for her paperwork fee. Her application, which she sent in February 2017, is still pending.
ICE raided Vargas’ house in February, where federal agents detained her father and brother. Vargas was temporarily detained at the time, but let go under the assumption that her DACA status was still valid.
Vargas’ recent detention spurred an outpouring of support from advocates and policymakers who have questioned the extent of the Trump administration’s punitive immigration policies. ICE has arrested nearly 700 immigrants following nationwide raids across 11 states, according to the agency, resulting in the detention of a Methodist Sunday school teacher, homeless men at a church-run hypothermia center, and at least three fathers who would leave behind U.S. citizen children if they are deported.
Last year, President Donald Trump mentioned that he wanted to treat DACA recipients with heart. Yet other DACA recipients have also been caught up in targeted enforcement efforts — including Daniel Ramirez Medina, who has been detained since February.
Update: The ICE agency released Vargas from its custody on Friday afternoon.