The DACA recipient whose arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Mississippi after speaking at an immigration rally captured national attention earlier this month will reportedly be released from custody, her lawyer announced on Friday.
According to attorney Abby Peterson, 22-year old Daniela Vargas is set to be freed from Louisiana's LaSalle Detention Center under an "Order of Supervision," the Clarion-Ledger reported. Further details of her release were not made available at this time.
"We expect Daniela to return to her friends and community in Mississippi shortly to resume her daily life and pursue her dreams," Peterson said in a statement. "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' story received widespread coverage after ICE authorities arrested her on March 1 as she drove home from a rally where she spoke about her experience as an undocumented immigrant. According to Peterson, the arresting agent told her simply: "You know who we are. You know what we’re here for."
Speaking with the New York Times following Vargas' arrest, Peterson explained that her client had been a recipient of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals after entering the United States with her family at the age of seven. According to Peterson, Vargas was in the process of renewing her DACA status at the time of her arrest. She had spent the previous two weeks in hiding after her father and brother were detained by ICE agents in their Mississippi home, during which she barricaded herself in the closet.
Peterson initially worried that because of the pending status of Vargas' DACA applications, she might be at risk of immediate deportation out of the United States, without a court hearing.
Friday's announcement suggests that while Vargas is now out of ICE custody, her battle to remain in the U.S. is far from over. At the time of her arrest, the agency wrote that "a federal immigration judge will now determine Ms. Vargas’s custody status as well as decide whether or not she is eligible for immigration relief. ICE will await the outcome of these proceedings before a federal immigration judge before taking further action."
When contacted on Friday by the Clarion-Ledger regarding Vargas' release, an ICE spokesperson declined to comment.