First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump
Juan Manuel Montes has lived in the US since age nine and was supposedly protected by Obama-era policy, prompting an outcry from activists, that demand answers.
Federal agents have deported a “Dreamer” to Mexico, possibly the first such documented case under Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Juan Manuel Montes, 23, was supposedly protected under the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme but agents detained and swiftly expelled him in February, it emerged on Tuesday, as reported in exclusive news by USA Today.
Federal agents ignored President Trump's pledge to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children by sending a young man back to his native Mexico, the first such documented case, a USA TODAY examination of the new administration's immigration policies shows.
Montes had lived in the United States since the age of nine and obtained de facto amnesty from an Obama-era policy which Trump has kept intact, citing his “big heart”.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers approached him on the street in Calexico, on California’s border with Mexico. Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration's stepped-up deportation policy.
"Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen," Montes told USA TODAY in his aunt and uncle's home in western Mexico where he's been staying. "I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen." He asked that the exact location of their home be withheld.
The news prompted an outcry from immigrant activists and others who used the hashtag #JusticeForJuan.
Days after taking office Trump promised to protect Daca beneficiaries, which include more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants, signalling they would escape his immigration crackdown. “They shouldn’t be very worried,” he told ABC News in January. “I do have a big heart.”
Since then, at least 10 have been detained, according to United We Dream, an NGO to protect DACA beneficiaries from deportations. Montes, who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child, appears to be the first to be deported.