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 yesterday 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.”
By sending Montes to Mexico, federal agents ignored President Trump’s pledge to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States. This was the first such documented case.
USA Today first reported that Montes was in the border town of Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 17 visiting his girlfriend 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, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer took him to a local station where he was asked to sign papers and then removed to Mexico.