After repeatedly saying that DREAMers – undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children – “shouldn’t be very worried” about being shipped out of the country, Donald Trump has officially deported one such immigrant, even though these undocumented immigrants still fall under the protections of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Despite Trump taking office in January, those protections are still officially on the books, but U.S. Customs agents reportedly ignored them.
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After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, grabbed a bite and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions.
Montes was twice granted deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama and left intact by President Trump.
Montes had left his wallet in a friend’s car, so he couldn’t produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn’t retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration’s stepped-up deportation policy.
Instead of allowing the young man to retrieve proof of his DACA protections and stay in the country, he was shipped back to Mexico – a direct result of Donald Trump’s deportation escalation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers appear to be ignoring the protections still on the books from Obama’s term and instead are listening to Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
During and even after the campaign, the president repeatedly said that he would only deport “the bad ones” (i.e. violent criminals), but it’s clear he has no intention of providing protections for any undocumented immigrants that are here – even those that came into the country as children, through no choice of their own.
While it has been good news that Trump has failed to live up to some of his other promises, like repealing Obamacare and enacting a Muslim ban, this is one broken promise that will tear apart innocent families and hurt the country in the process.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.