Deported man with DACA status suing to return to U.S.

Erica Roy
April 20, 2017

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Dan Hetlage said Montes was arrested by the Border Patrol after illegally entering the climbing over a fence in downtown Calexico. But it said Montes acknowledged under oath that he entered the country illegally on February 19, forcing him to lose status because it was an admission that he left without required permission. Montes had been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy - a status for undocumented immigrants brought to the children.

Mr. Montes told the newspaper he was arrested February 18 after having lunch with a friend, and wasn't allowed to get his wallet showing his DACA approval, which he said should have protected him into early 2018.

"Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how", said Nora Preciado, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, which represents Montes.

According to NPR, there are 750,000 young people with undocumented status who are protected under DACA, an executive order that was implemented by President Obama in 2012.

Enacted by the Obama administration, the DACA program is meant to protect undocumented immigrants who arrived in the children (known as Dreamers) from deportation and also gives them work permits.

The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services didn't immediately respond to NewsHour requests for comment.

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U.S. Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, applauded Montes' removal in a tweet that linked to a story in USA Today, which first reported the case. "I miss my job".

A Southern California community college student who lived in the US under a deferred action program sued the federal government Tuesday after he was sent back to Mexico in February. The Department of Homeland Security initially said his status had expired in August 2015 and wasn't renewed. Attorneys are now suing to find out what exactly happened. He has worked in California's agricultural fields to help support his family and studied welding at his local community college, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

Montes' case is believed to be the first case of a DACA "Dreamer" having been deported. The lawsuit states that Montes has a single misdemeanor offense but that it doesn't disqualify him from DACA.

President Trump, however, has signed executive orders making practically all 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living illegally in the United States at risk of immediate deportation, striking previous priorities under the Obama administration. Under the program, DACA recipients can legally work in the US, obtain identification and in some cases receive driver's licenses. CBP officers then took Montes to a nearby station and required him to sign documents, the meaning of which, NILC said, he did not understand.

"It is beyond the pale that border patrol officers are left to make decisions that impact people's lives and future with absolute impunity", said Angélica Salas of the California-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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