DACA recipient's deportation leads to protest & petition
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Immigration advocates, with the organization “United We Dream”, protested outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s office on Wednesday afternoon.
A day after Juan Manuel Montes’ attorneys filed a lawsuit.
The suit claims Montes was first deported from California to Mexico in February, despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).
They say he was then deported again, when he attempted to re-enter the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security shared a different story on Wednesday. They admitted that Montes is a DACA recipient, with a 2018 expiration date.
“After a detailed records search, it was determined that Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez was approved for DACA starting in 2014 and had a DACA expiration date of Jan. 25, 2018. However, Mr. Montes-Bojorquez lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advance parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. 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 advance parole terminates the protections Montes-Bojorquez was granted under DACA.
The U.S. Border Patrol has no record of encountering Mr. Montes-Bojorquez in the days before his detention and subsequent arrest for immigration violations on February 19, 2017. There are no records or evidence to support Montes-Bojorquez’s claim that he was detained or taken to the Calexico Port of Entry on February 18, 2017. Prior to his arrest by the United States Border Patrol on February 19, 2017, Montes-Bojorquez's last documented encounter with any United States immigration law enforcement official was in August of 2010, where he was permitted to withdraw his application of admission in lieu of receiving an Expedited Removal.
During Mr. Montes-Bojorquez’s detention and arrest by the United States Border Patrol on February 19, he admitted to agents that he had illegally entered the United States and was arrested. He later admitted the same under oath. All of the arrest documents from February 19, 2017, bear Montes-Bojorquez’s signature. During his arrest interview, he never mentioned that he had received DACA status. However, even if Montes-Bojorquez had informed agents of his DACA status, he had violated the conditions of his status by breaking continuous residency in the United States by leaving and then reentering the U.S. illegally. Montes-Bojorquez’s Employment Authorization Document is only for employment and is not valid for entry or admission into the United States.
According to our records, Mr. Montes-Bojorquez was repatriated to Mexico on February 20, 2017, shortly after 3:20 p.m.”
“This is an administration that is proactively attacking and persecuting immigrants,” said Luis Aguilar, who is also protected by DACA.
Aguilar came to the United States from Mexico at 10 years old. He’s worried that Montes’ claims may be a sign that President Donald Trump is changing his views on DACA.
“He does not stand with us and it’s very obvious,” said Aguilar.
“They need to come out and admit that they committed a mistake and allow him to enter back,” said Aguilar.
The National Immigration Law center started a petition online, which urges the Department of Homeland Security’s secretary to bring Montes back to the United States.