Written by 3:36 pm Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Age of Trump, Age of Censorship? Dreamer Claims Deportation, Government Negates it


Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez once displayed the promise of a better future but has become one of the first “dreamer” to be deported by Trump, according to immigration advocates and lawyers. This is a violation of the protected status granted to undocumented people that arrived in the US as children.

Up until February, the 23-year-old “dreamer” and beneficiary of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—he was brought into the US as a child—had a steady job in California picking fruits and vegetables as he was pursuing a degree in welding. However, according to his lawyers, he is currently residing with relatives in Mexico.

The Trump administration has notably increased the amount of deportation under new enforcement guidelines, but has not yet overturned DACA, which notably enabled those eligible to obtain renewable work permits valid for two years to over 750,000 immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as minors. Previously, Trump has expressed sympathy for beneficiaries of DACA.

For example, this past February, Trump stated that: “We’re going to show a great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.”

In his Wednesday appearance on Fox News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that DACA enrollees weren’t the government’s priority in terms of deportation; however, he refused to affirm that they would not be deported. After being pressured by the Fox News anchor, Sessions said, “The policy is that if people are here unlawfully, they’re subject to being deported…We can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they’re not going to be deported.”

While on his way to a California taxi station, a Border Patrol agent stopped Montes and asked to see identification. Having left his wallet in a friend’s car by accident, according to Montes’s lawyer, he did not have a form of identification on him and thus was unable to prove his status as a dreamer.

After another officer was called to the scene, Montes was taken into custody that night of February 17th, according to his lawyers. At about 1 am, immigration officials physically walked Montes across the border and left him in Mexico, say Montes’s lawyers.

However, the Department of Homeland Security negates these claims by Montes and his lawyers, alleging that they have no record of detaining Montes on February 17th and then deporting him later. Although, officials do confirm that Montes was sent back to Mexico upon attempting to reenter the US on February 19th, with which Montes’s lawyers’ statements corroborate.

Despite the initial claim of the DHS that Montes’s DACA had expired in 2015, a day later, on Wednesday, they changed their claim and confirmed that Montes was confirmed for a DACA status until 2018. However, regardless of their recognition of the validity of his DACA status, DHS officials maintain that Montes lost this status upon leaving the US without permission “on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the US Border Patrol on February 19, 2017.”

“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,” David Lapan, a DHS spokesman declared in a statement to The Washington Post, observing that Montes made the same admission 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,” Lapan continued, “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.”

Attorneys representing Montes filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) this Tuesday, demanding that the US government divulge all information regarding his sudden removal. The lawsuit was filed, they say, since their FOIA requests were “ignored.”

The contradictory accounts relating to the case provoke uncontested questions, but the allegations increased existing fears that DACA recipients are now targets of deportation, regardless of Trump’s promises to “show great heart” toward them.

When questioned on Wednesday about whether undocumented immigrants who did not have a criminal record would be deported, White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated that the administration is concentrated on individuals who “are a threat to public safety,” according to CNN. He also pointed inquiries regarding the Montes case to DHS as he declared: “That situation is evolving right now…I would not rush to judgment.”

Nora Preciado, a Los Angeles attorney associated with the National Immigration Law Center and one of Montes’s lawyers, said that, on March 15, the lawyers requested all records pertaining to Montes’s interactions with immigration authorities, but DHS has not released them up until now.

“Juan Manuel has been unequivocal in his assertion that he never voluntarily left the country while he had DACA,” Preciado stated on Wednesday. “We believe him. We filed an FOIA lawsuit to get answers. Rather than continue to provide half-truths and varying assertions, DHS should respond to our request for documentation.” “We will see them in court,” she continued on.

When prompted to address Preciado’s assertion that Montes claims he never voluntarily left the US, Lapan replied that DHS doesn’t comment on “pending litigation.” “We stand by our statement of the facts in this case,” he said.

Lapan emphasized that Montes was convicted of shoplifting in 2016; meanwhile, his lawyers assert that this conviction has no impact on his DACA status, which is subject to a background check.

Montes’s lawyers declare that he had received an employment authorization document, a type only granted to DACA recipients. Lapan, on the other hand, highlighted the fact that Montes’s Employment Authorization Document is invalid for entry or admission into the US; while Preciado said Montes was aware that.

“Instead of providing his attorneys with information and documents, the government is providing varying stories to the media. He deserves to know why the federal government that promised he wouldn’t be deported for two years broke that promise to him without any explanation or documentation,” Preciado added.

Montes alleges that he was assaulted mere days after being deported to Mexicali, Mexico, which prompted him to try and return to the US. After hiding on the northern side of the border for roughly 30 minutes, Montes encountered immigration officers and chose to turn himself in. Hours after that, he was once again returned to Mexico. Although Montes maintains that this incident was his second deportation, this is the only removal DHS has confirmed.

“The really important questions come up after the first time,” Preciado stated. “The government doesn’t want to focus on that. It doesn’t want to answer those hard questions.”

Montes, who was brought to the US at the age of 9, suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child and has a cognitive disability, the lawsuit asserts. He was enrolled in special education classes through high school, and has been active as a farm worker for roughly two years.

“I was forced out because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do or say,” Montes revealed in a statement. “I miss my job. I miss school. And I want to continue to work toward better opportunities. But most of all, I miss my family, and I have hope that I will be able to go back so I can be with them again.”

In March, US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asserted via Tweet that: “DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority.”

Regardless, various DACA beneficiaries now feel their deportation worries are concretely justified. On February 10th, dreamer Daniel Ramirez Medina was detained in Seattle, eliciting national attention. He was then released over a month later.

In late March, Daniela Vargas, 22, was also detained by the authorities, but she was detained for speaking at a Mississippi news conference. Similarly, she was later released. At least 10 DACA recipients are in federal custody at the moment, United We Dream, which is an advocacy organization consisting of DACA enrollees and other young immigrants, revealed to USA Today.

“The federal government made a promise to Juan Manuel and all DACA recipients,” Preciado told The Post. “Unfortunately, Juan Manuel’s case proves that promise has been broken.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement on Tuesday in which she asserted that rather than honor the protections of DACA, “President Trump has unleashed an indiscriminate deportation dragnet of appalling inhumanity.”

Greisa Martinez, advocacy director at United We Dream and a DACA beneficiary herself, said in a Facebook live video on Tuesday that “this is the moment of truth where we hold those people accountable.”

“In these moments of uncertainty,” she confirmed, “there’s a lot of questions. What does this mean for us? Where do we go?”

Featured Image via Wikimedia.

Visited 1 times, 1 visit(s) today

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin