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Deported 'Dreamer' Sues Trump Administration for Answers
April 19, 2017 at 7:05 AM
A young immigrant who was deported to Mexico earlier this year despite the fact he had protected DACA status has filed a suit against the Trump administration seeking information about his case.

Juan Manuel Montes, 23, filed a complaint Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging that the government did not provide any documentation explaining the legality of sending him back to Mexico.

Montes has been in the U.S. since he was 9 and had qualified for DACA twice; he was protected until 2018.

"Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how," stated Nora A. Preciado, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, (NILC) which put out the statement. "The government shouldn't treat anyone this way — much less someone who has DACA. No one should have to file a lawsuit to find out what happened to them."

NILC executive director Marielena Hincapié told NBC News the question is "how is it possible that in the United States of America you can be walking and be stopped by Border Patrol and then disappeared and sent to another country because you don't have your wallet on you?"

In the statement, Montes said he was "forced out" of the U.S. because he did not know what to do or say, "but my home is there," he said. "I miss my job. I miss school...But most of all, I miss my family," he Montes said.

Montes, say his attorneys, has a cognitive disability from a brain injury.

USA Today first reported that Montes was in the border town of Calexico, California visiting his girlfriend on Feb. 17 when he was stopped and asked to show ID. Though he didn't have documentation with him, he told authorities he had DACA status. According to the NILC statement, Border Patrol took him to a local station, was asked to sign papers and then removed to Mexico. According to USA Today, Montes climbed the border fence into the U.S. and was questioned and sent back again to Mexico.

In a statement to NBC News, Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson Ralph A. Desio said, "Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez was apprehended by the Calexico Station Border Patrol after illegally entering the U.S. by climbing over the fence in downtown Calexico. He was arrested by BP just minutes after he made his illegal entry and admitted under oath during the arrest interview that he had entered illegally."

CBP also said that Montes's DACA status "had expired in Aug. 2015 and he was notified at that time," though Montes's attorneys have shown copies of his work authorization card that showed his DACA status is valid through 2018.

CBP also stated Montes "has a conviction for theft for which he received probation." But court records showed a misdemeanor for shoplifting, according to his attorneys.

Montes has filed a freedom of information (FOIA) request with Customs and Border Protection asking for records surrounding his case.

Democrats are calling on the administration to provide answers over why Dreamers are being deported.

"Just last month Secretary Kelly promised me that no one with DACA would lose this protection unless they violated the terms of DACA. I intend to hold him to this commitment," stated Illinois Democratic congressman Dick Durbin.

Javier Gamboa, Hispanic media director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said in a statement that "President Trump and every Republican in Congress who promised that no DREAMer would be targeted, let alone be deported, owns this grave moral failure."

Montes's case has rallied immigration advocacy groups around the country.

"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, from the California-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). "ICE must be reigned in and stopped from grossly violating people's constitutional rights."

Hincapié said that once they get more information from the government they will assess the next legal steps in Montes's case..

But she said the fact that he had to file a FOIA lawsuit "should trouble any American that care about freedom."

Hincapie says the important thing is to get Montes back to his family.

"He belongs home, California is home," she said.


  • cellomom26
    April 19, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    The United States of America is not a participation trophy.  We have laws concerning who comes here. 

  • VooDooB
    by VooDooB
    April 19, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    In America for 14 years and never became an American legally?

  • cellomom26
    April 19, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Exactly.  Too much work to do things the legal and appropriate way.  Much easier to just cry and whine.  This is why law abiding patriotic Americans are sick of this people. 

    Quoting VooDooB:

    In America for 14 years and never became an American legally?

  • M4LG5
    by M4LG5
    April 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    For some, it takes decades!  People think you can get in a line and just become's not that way.  The fact that he was a DACA student means he was at least trying go to school and get what he needs to prepare himself to become a legal immigrant. 

    Quoting VooDooB:

    In America for 14 years and never became an American legally?

  • M4LG5
    by M4LG5
    April 19, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    He was protected by DACA....should not have been deported in the first place.

    Quoting cellomom26:

    The United States of America is not a participation trophy.  We have laws concerning who comes here. 

  • meriana
    by meriana
    April 19, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Perhaps this person should not have been deported due to DACA protection, however that would only have protected him until 2018 and whether he'd choose to become a legal citizen is not a given, there's always that money thing. There a plenty of people, those here illegally and their advocates,  who don't think anyone should be deported unless they've committed murder.

    Apparently in California, a bill (SB 54) has passed the Senate and is headed to the Assembly. If it somehow eventually gets signed into law, California will effectively be a Sanctuary state, which really would be telling people they don't need to abide by immigration law, they can ignore it, at least where the state of California is concerned

  • D-Town
    by D-Town
    April 19, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    It does take that long or longer. It took my parents 15 years to become citizens. They were white, came here "legally" and from a European nation. They didn't have nearly as many hurdles to jump through as their brown skinned immigrant counterparts. 

    Quoting VooDooB:

    In America for 14 years and never became an American legally?

  • Elkamelka
    April 19, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    And he should have been protected by DACA until 2018, according to the article.

    Quoting cellomom26:

    The United States of America is not a participation trophy.  We have laws concerning who comes here. 

  • Dardenella
    April 19, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    I do think he should have been told and it does seem that he was told.  Shoplifting is theft.  You can color it any way you want but taking something that doesn't belong to you is theft.

     Whenther his DACA is valid or not if he commits a crime he should be deported.

    DACA is simply that you were here illegally and have applied to stay.  In all that time did he seek to become an citizen?  The answer is no.  Then this is not his home.

  • numbr1wmn
    April 19, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    He violated his DACA When he committed a crime.

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