An illegal immigrant who received temporary legal status under former President Obama has been deported to Mexico, the first known removal of a so-called “Dreamer.”
Federal immigration agents detained Juan Manuel Montes on Feb. 17 in Calexico, Calif., USA Today reported. Montes had left his girlfriend’s house to get some food and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached him and began asking questions.
Three hours later, officers walked Montes across the border and left him in Mexicali, Mexico, USA TODAY reported.
Montes was twice granted deportation protections under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to USA TODAY. The program gives illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children–known as “Dreamers”–temporary relief from deportation and allows them to obtain work permits.
President Donald Trump has not formally rescinded DACA, but in February he issued an executive order instructing the Department of Homeland Security to consider any person living in the U.S. illegally as a potential target for deportation. Montes is believed to be the first DACA recipient to be deported.
“Some people told me that they were going to deport me, others said nothing would happen,” Montes told USA TODAY from his aunt and uncle’s home in western Mexico. “I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen.”
A group of attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in California, asking a judge to force Customs and Border Protection to release details of the alleged incident.
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