ICE Arrested a DACA Recipient — Then the Agency Went After Her Parents

Recently, the Chicago Sun Times reported on an especially heartbreaking story of a 26-year-old mother and DACA recipient who was arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents while taking her child to school.

Paula Hincapie-Rendon, the young mother, was originally brought to the United States from Columbia by her parents when she was 11 years old. In 2015, she applied for and received protection through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In 2017, her DACA status was renewed. She did exactly what the federal government told her to do.

Nonetheless, earlier this month, immigration officers stopped her vehicle in suburban Chicago. With her young daughter in the car, she was detained. The agents agreed to allow her to return her car and five-year-old daughter to the home of her parents. However, when they arrived at the home, ICE arrested her parents and her cousin.

Her Parents Are Set to Be Deported

Tragically, the Chicago Sun Times filed a second report days after the first indicating that Ms. Hincapie-Rendon’s parents are on the fast track to deportation. Despite signatures from more than 65 community organizations and thousands of people, the Trump Administration is set to remove both parents from the country. As a reminder, they have been in the United States for more than 15 years and they are not under any criminal investigation.

While Ms. Hincapie-Rendon’s DACA status still provides her some important protections, she is not allowed to leave the country to visit her parents. Doing so could expose her to serious penalties — including detention. As we have discussed previously, DACA recipients who leave the United States can be detained by immigration officers when they return from their trip.

A Record High 52,000 Immigrants are Currently Being Detained

The United States is currently detaining a record high number of immigrants. According to reporting from Buzzfeed News, there were approximately 52,400 immigrants in ICE detention facilities on May 20th, 2019. Not only is this the highest number ever recorded by the agency, but it is also significantly higher than the limit set by Congress. Early this year, Congress reached a budget deal to reduce ICE’s average daily detention capacity to 45,000. Only three months later, it appears that the administration is flagrantly violating the instructions from Congress.   

The gut wrenching story of Ms. Hincapie-Rendon and her family highlight just how unnecessary so many of these ICE enforcement actions have become under the Trump Administration. Despite doing everything right, undocumented immigrants lack full and reliable protection. They have to live in fear that they or their loved ones could be detained at virtually any moment. We need to do better.

We Support Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, CA

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our Los Angeles immigration attorney has more than fifteen years of experience handling the complete range of immigration law matters. To arrange a strictly confidential review of your immigration case, please give us a call today. With an office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout California.  Call (213) 262-2000.