The immigrant youth community and their allies are in shock to learn of the first case of a deported DACA-DREAMer.
This adds to the concern that DHS is moving fast to deport immigrants so they do not have time to claim due process.
According to a USA Today article, federal agents detained Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old immigrant who has lived in the U.S. since he was 9 years old, after an encounter with immigration agents.
Montes had spent time with his girlfriend in Calexico, California, on February 17 and was waiting for a ride when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents approached him.
At the moment, he could not offer proof of his DACA status, which has been granted twice, since he had left his ID in a friend’s car. Within three hours, he was deported to Mexico in an apparent deportation express.
President Trump and other Republicans had downplayed DREAMers’ concerns that this administration would not honor President Obama’s executive order to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, saying, “They shouldn’t be very worried.”
But the recent cases of Daniel Martinez Medina and Daniela Vargas, immigrant youth detained in two different states, have done little to ease the concerns. Both individuals are free now thanks to great legal work and public pressure.
Along with the news about the deported DREAMer, USA Today is reporting that currently there are 10 DREAMers being held in immigration detention.
Adding insult to injury, the media is portraying Montes as “not the perfect DREAMer,” not a valedictorian, even though he has graduated from high school, has been working and is overcoming medical challenges stemming from a brain injury and a cognitive disability. According to articles about the case, Montes has three misdemeanors: one for shoplifting and two for driving without a license. None of these allegations precludes him from accessing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Some parts of the story are not clear, and his lawyers are suing immigration enforcement agencies for unlawfully withholding information regarding the case.
According to the complaint, Montes was presented with documents “without allowing him to see an immigration judge, seek counsel, or obtain copies of the documents he signed. Within hours, in the middle of the night, Montes was physically removed to Mexicali, Mexico.”
Support Juan Manuel Montes by signing this online petition and joining the conversation with the hashtag #JusticeForJuan.