DACA Deported After Breaking Immigration Laws Again

Article author: 
Robert Law
Article publisher: 
Federation of American Immigration Reform
Article date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Article category: 
National Issues
Article Body: 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deported a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien two months ago—believed to be the first enforcement action taken against a recipient of President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty program. DHS has confirmed that in February it returned Juan Manual Montes, a 23-year old illegal alien DACA recipient, to his home country of Mexico in February after catching him climbing over the border fence in Calexico, California. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) In a Spanish-language interview while detained, Montes admitted under oath to the Border Patrol to illegally entering the country. (Id.)

Montes’s decision to leave the U.S., allegedly to visit a girlfriend, violated the terms of DACA. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the DHS component that administers the unlawful program, DACA may only leave the country if granted advance parole. (USCIS DACA Guidelines) Advance parole is an administratively created tool that allows an illegal alien to leave the U.S. with a promise of being “paroled” back into the country upon return. (See FAIR Legislative Update, July 26, 2016) USCIS guidelines are clear that leaving without advance parole will nullify DACA status. “If you travel outside the United State on or after August 15, 2012, without first receiving advance parole, your departure automatically terminates your deferred action under DACA.” (USCIS DACA Guidelines)(emphasis added) According to DHS, “Mr. Montes lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advance parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017.” (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017)

While amnesty advocates predictably cry foul, details are emerging that cast doubt on Montes’s eligibility for DACA in the first place. When President Obama unlawfully created DACA in 2012, one of the criteria for the amnesty program was having “continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007.” (USCIS DACA Guidelines) Montes claims to have been living in the U.S. unlawfully since the age of nine (approximately 2003), which, if true, would satisfy that prong of DACA eligibility. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) refute that claim, saying they encountered Montes in 2010 when he illegally crossed the border. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) Rather than face detention and removal proceedings before an immigration judge, Montes opted to be promptly returned to Mexico through a process called expedited removal. (Id.) The Obama administration’s approval of Montes’s DACA initial application and then renewal despite his being ineligible is further proof that USCIS blindly approved nearly every application without properly examining each case, as they claimed they did.

Even though DACA are not an enforcement priority of the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the removal on Montes. During a Fox News interview with Jenna Lee, Sessions reiterated that “Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported, so people come here and they stay here a few years and somehow they think they are not subject to being deported – well, they are.” (Fox News, Apr. 19, 2017)