Man accused of Burien rape facing possible deportation

A 23-year-old Burien man has been charged with rape and assault for an attack on a 19-year-old woman. As a result of the charges, his protected immigration status as a “dreamer” — a person brought to the U.S. illegally as a child — has been revoked.

A man accused of raping a 19-year-old Burien woman and beating her unconscious with a kettlebell in the gym of her apartment complex in late June could face deportation if he is convicted.

Salvador Diaz Garcia, 23, was charged July 3 with second-degree rape and second-degree assault in connection with the attack, King County court records show. He has also been charged with third-degree child molestation for allegedly groping a 14-year-old girl in a neighboring apartment complex shortly before the June 25 rape, according to the records.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Diaz Garcia is a so-called “dreamer” under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal program that allows people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country. An application for DACA must be renewed every two years.

Diaz Garcia was granted DACA status in June 2013, ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen wrote in an email. “His DACA has been terminated today, per standard procedure, based on his criminal arrest.”

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ICE has lodged a detainer on Diaz Garcia and termination of his DACA status makes him potentially removable from the country, Christensen said.

She did not say where Diaz Garcia is from nor when he came to the U.S.

DACA was created under the Obama administration as a stopgap measure to protect young immigrants while Congress worked on a broader immigration overhaul. Such legislation has not materialized.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has expressed empathy for the DACA participants, many of whom have no memory of living anywhere but the United States. Canceling the program could mean trying to deport more than 787,000 people who identified themselves to the government in exchange for temporary protection.

But that protection can be revoked, as has happened with Diaz Garcia. People who are in the country illegally and convicted of certain crimes are typically deported after serving their prison sentences.

Trump this week said he was backing legislation that would dramatically reduce legal immigration and shift the…

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