Juan Manuel Montes has been rearrested again after he was deported from the US in February. The 23-year-old might be the first DREAMer to be deported under the Trump administration by his own testimony.
He said he was deported in February by US Border Patrol agents after living for so long in the US. He was rearrested again near Calexico in California and faces a federal felony charge that could earn him up to two years in prison.
President Trump Threatens to Put down DACA If Congress Would Not Pass Its Bill
Juan Montes told investigators he has deportation protections conferred on him by the Obama administration. This is via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) which allows undocumented minors smuggled in the US to obtain work permits as adults.
This class of undocumented immigrants is known as DREAMers. About 800,000 illegal immigrants are so protected from deportation by DACA.
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Montes claims he is protected under the program and ought not to have been deported in February in the first place. But the US Border Patrol does not agree that Montes had even been in the US prior to his arrest and detention last week.
They said they have no records of his deportation and that he may have left the country on his own volition without necessary papers.
And then, even if he is protected by DACA, leaving the country without approval within five years of DACA program would have voided his DACA status and protection.
Federal Judge Wants To Help Montes, but He Is Withdrawing His US Re-Entry Case
The Mexican is currently booked at the Imperial County Jail. But, a team of lawyers has risen to his defense.
US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in San Diego, has vowed to set up a trial for Montes in December to review his case and possibly grant him legal re-entry into the US again.
But Montes has informed his lawyers that he does not want to proceed with his US re-entry case. His reasons are not clear.
He stated he’d like to go back to Mexico where he’d been living with relatives since his first deportation earlier this year.
“Border Patrol Agents will always stop, detain, and arrest anyone making an illegal entry into the country irrespective of their immigration or citizenship status,” Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David Kim said.