Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez, 23, was sent to Mexico on February 17th just three hours after failing to provide identification of his legal residency to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent. Montes was out with his girlfriend and waiting for a taxi when the agent came and questioned him. He realized then that he’d left his wallet in a friend’s car. Unable to prove he was protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), he was taken into custody and agents walked him across the border hours later.
The DACA program provides DREAMERs (foreign-born individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children) with a two-year work permit, social security number, and a piece of mind from deportation. Montes had first applied for DACA status back in 2014, then again in 2016 meaning he was protected until 2018, as the program runs for two full years.
This comes as a shock to many as, a little over one month ago, the immigrant community was reassured by Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, that, “The DACA program is alive and well.” Their faith in the Trump Administration was shattered with this deportation.
Montes who’d been living in the states since the age of nine, took it upon himself to cross the border illegally just two days after his deportation and was caught by Border Patrol, according to reports. This is when his case becomes tricky because DHS spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in a statement that,
“Mr. Montes-Bojorquez lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advanced parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the US Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017. According to his interview with the Border Patrol, conducted in Spanish, he entered the United States on February 19, 2017, and he acknowledged that he understood the questions that he was being asked. Departing the country without advanced parole terminates the protections Montes-Bojorquez was granted under DACA.”
With the help from the National Immigration Law Center, Montes was able to sue the Department of Homeland Security. His lawyer, Karen Tumlin recently states, “Juan Manuel is looking for the truth. “He’s a gentleman that’s grown up in California and he wants to know exactly how and why the government removed him.”
So in lieu of Trump’s first 100 days in office, the country has already seen the impact his presidency has made including the first deportation of a DREAMer. His campaign not only began with anti-immigrant remarks but it continued with bashing Hillary Clinton (remember nasty woman?) and him suggesting the likes of a registry for Muslims.