A young woman is in the custody of Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents after speaking out about immigrant rights.
Twenty-one year old Daniela Vargas was among the speakers at a news conference at Jackson City Hall to draw attention to the need for immigration reform. She talked about her family at the event.
"Both my parents began working in poultry plants where most days the cold was unbearable. Knowing that they were making the sacrifice for us, I put in all my efforts into my education and my talents," said Vargas.
Following the news conference Vargas was riding in a vehicle with a friend when Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents arrested her. Vargas, a native of Argentina, had applied for DACA status, which allows her to attend college without the threat of deportation. Two weeks ago, ICE agents arrested her father and brother as they left home going to work. At the news conference businessman Surinder Singh talked about the perception that all immigrants are criminals.
"If they want to go after criminals that's a different thing. But don't just round up everybody and say all immigrants are criminals. That's wrong. That's immoral and they should ask themselves who they are," said Singh.
Abby Peterson is Vargas' attorney. She says Vargas had a receipt for her DACA application and she believed her client could attend the event without any problem.
"I was stunned. I was shocked. I was quite honestly disappointed. I like to think that we have a reasonable ICE office that is going to process what I would consider priority cases people with criminal case and such, and act humanely with other people," said Peterson.
Peterson hopes proof of Vargas' DACA application will persuade ICE officials to allow her to remain in the country. Vargas was planning to leave Mississippi to live with her mother and continue her education.