This week, reports broke out that the first DACA-protected DREAMer was deported under Trump. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against the federal government, alleging they apprehended and deported an individual despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
First DACA Recipient is deported under Trump
The DACA recipient deported on February 18, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, has lived in the U.S. since age 9. Montes had been granted deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program twice.
After spending an evening with his girlfriend, Montes grabbed something to eat and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached him and started questioning.
Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he was not able to produce his ID or proof of DACA status. The agents told him he could not go get them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first immigrant with active DACA status to be deported by the Trump administration.
"Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen," Montes told USA TODAY in Mexico. "I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen." He asked that the exact location of their home be withheld.
Since entering the White House earlier this year, Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration by signing executive orders to step up enforcement against the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Despite this, Trump has declined to revoke DACA, which grant deportation protection to more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants. He has repeatedly said he had a soft spot for these young people known as DREAMers.
"They shouldn't be very worried," Trump said in January. "I do have a big heart."
Deported DREAMer Files Lawsuit Against Federal Government
What Can DACA Recipients Do To Protect Themselves?
As I mentioned in the post "How to Prepare for an Interaction with ICE (Even if You Are a US Citizen!)," there are steps DACA recipients can take to protect themselves:
- DACA recipients are highly encouraged to carry with them at all times a photocopy of your Employment Authorization Document.
- DACA recipients are advised to NOT carry the original Employment Authorization Document with them, since replacing these documents can often be troublesome and costly. Instead, they are encouraged to keep the original in a safe place at home and carry a copy with them at all times in their wallet, purse, car, etc.