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19 April 2017, 09:42 | Dan Bryan
'DREAMer' Protected Under Obama's DACA Encounters Border Agent — and Is Back in Mexico 3 Hours Later
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.
But USA Today discovered through an examination of Trump's immigration policies that Montes, who is legally protected by DACA through 2018, had been deported to his native Mexico on February 17, while waiting for a ride in Calexico, California.
In response to a request for comment by Reuters, a CPB spokesman said in an emailed statement that Montes had been apprehended "after illegally entering the United States by climbing over the fence in downtown Calexico".
Montes had left his wallet in a friend's auto, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them.
"Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen", Montes told USA Today.
Montes was taken to a Border Patrol station where, he alleges, he was made to sign documents and not allowed to see an immigration judge or attorney. His lawyers acknowledged in the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of California that he had a misdemeanor on his record and "minor traffic offenses", none of which would have disqualified him from DACA. According to USA Today, Montes climbed the border fence into the US and was questioned and sent back again to Mexico.
"Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how", Nora Preciado, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, said in a statement. Montes was first approved for DACA in 2014 and successfully obtained a renewal in 2016. Within three hours he was escorted to the border and left in Mexicali, Mexico.
An estimated 1.4 million Dreamers have received DACA since the program's inception, according to the most recent data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They must reapply every two years to keep their legal status, something his attorneys said he has done. Unable to verify that he was covered by DACA, Montes was detained, questioned and asked to sign certain documents.
The statement also noted that Montes had a previous conviction for theft that resulted in probation, a fact the lawsuit admits.
Trump maintained the DACA program even though he promised to end it ― which King believes he should follow through on.
A young Seattle man was detained in March after the government said he admitted to gang ties, while an Argentinian woman was detained and later released after she spoke out about Trump's immigration policies at a news conference in Mississippi. Rather than continuing his education in the USA, where he was studying welding at community college, Montes now works at a gas station and tortilla mill, dreaming of the day he can come home.
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