An undocumented immigrant protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program has been deported for the first time under President Donald Trump, USA Today reported Tuesday afternoon.
According to the paper, 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes was arrested by Customs and Border Protections officers on February 17 in Calexico, CA. He had allegedly left his wallet in a friend’s car and was thus unable to immediately produce his ID and proof of his DACA status, which would have shielded him from deportation. The agents reportedly refused to allow him to fetch his documentation. Instead, Montes was deported to Mexico within a matter of hours. He’d been living in the United States since he was nine.
“Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen,” Montes explained to USA Today from a relative’s house in Mexico. “I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen.”
CPB declined to comment to USA Today about the arrest. Fusion has also reached out to CPB for comment, and will update this story with their response.
Though he was the first to be deported, Montes is far from the only DACA recipient to have been picked up in the president’s widening immigration sweeps. Days before Montes was deported, another DACA recipient—23 year old Daniel Ramirez Medina—was picked up by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents in Seattle, WA. Ramirez was detained in a federal immigration jail for nearly seven weeks before he was released from custody in late March—on $15,000 bail.
Similarly, in early March, 22-year-old Daniela Vargas was released from LaSalle Detention Center in Louisiana, after having been detained by federal authorities who reportedly told her, “You know who we are. You know what we’re here for,” when she was arrested on March 1.
In January, Trump suggested to ABC News’ David Muir that, despite his threats to deport scores of undocumented immigrants, those protected under the DAC program “shouldn’t be worried.”
Despite his DACA-friendly assurances, as well as those of fellow Republican Paul Ryan (WI), Trump’s administration has overseen a dramatic increase in immigration law enforcement, snaring both those with, and without, criminal backgrounds.
Montes may have been the first DACA recipient to have been deported under President Trump. But given the quickening pace and widening scope of ICE’s undocumented immigrant sweeps, it’s unclear if he’ll be the last.
UPDATE: A spokesperson from CPB sent Fusion the following statement:
Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez was apprehended by the Calexico Station Border Patrol after illegally entering the U.S. by climbing over the fence in downtown Calexico. He was arrested by Border Patrol just minutes after he made his illegal entry and admitted under oath during the arrest interview that he had entered illegally.
His DACA status expired in Aug. 2015 and he was notified at that time. According to our records, his DACA status was not renewed.
In addition, he has a conviction for theft for which he received probation.
While the CBP’s statement is at odds with USA Today’s initial report, Montes’ attorneys reportedly provided the paper with a copy of their client’s work authorization paperwork, which listed his DACA status as valid through the coming year.