Agency says deported man had no special status

19 April 2017, 09:44 | Noah Barnes

Obama granted "Dreamer" protection to more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children - and Trump pledged to protect them amid his agenda to enforce immigration laws.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Dan Hetlage said Montes was arrested by the Border Patrol after illegally entering the U.S.by climbing over a fence in downtown Calexico.

Juan Manuel Montes' attorneys said their client is believed to be the first known person who qualifies for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to be deported by President Donald Trump. Montes, who could not produce identification to corroborate his DACA status, was said to have left his wallet in a friend's auto.

The border agents reportedly refused to get Montes' documentation and deported him to Mexico within hours.

President Trump, however, has signed executive orders making practically all 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living illegally in the U.S. at risk of immediate deportation, striking previous priorities under the Obama administration.

On the night he was detained, Montes had left a friend's house in Calexico and was walking to a taxi stand about 10 p.m. when he was approached by a border officer, possibly with Customs and Border Protection.

Since the launch of his presidential campaign, Trump has promised to interrupt undocumented immigration into the country, but has wavered on the particulars of the DACA policy.

While it has been good news that Trump has failed to live up to some of his other promises, like repealing Obamacare and enacting a Muslim ban, this is one broken promise that will tear apart innocent families and hurt the country in the process.

Montes had twice been granted DACA under the Obama administration, each time giving him permission to live and work in the United States for two years.

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USA Today first reported that Montes was in the border town of Calexico, California visiting his girlfriend on February 17 when he was stopped and asked to show ID. He then worked two years picking crops in California and Arizona. The lawsuit filed in a California court on Tuesday is requesting that a judge force Customs and Border Patrol to release the information of their agent's interaction with Montes.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, part of Montes' legal team, said it has requested information for months but has gotten no response. Montes has learning disabilities stemming from a traumatic brain injury he suffered as a child.

"They detained me, they took me to a center, they asked me a lot of questions, and I signed a lot of papers", he said.

Burke, the DHS spokeswoman, said the department had no record of Montes being arrested and deported from California as he described.

His record - minor traffic offenses and one misdemeanor offense - should not have disqualified him from the DACA program, according to the lawsuit.

Montes said he couldn't understand anything he was signing and was not given any copies.

Montes received renewed DACA protections in January 2016, which keeps him enrolled through 2018. "I liked it there more than here".

According to the complaint, Montes came to the USA when he was 9 and suffers from a cognitive disability due to a brain injury.



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