SAN DIEGO -- A man has been sent to Mexico in what an advocacy group says could be the first known deportation of someone who was part of a program to shield people who came to the U.S. as young children.
The National Immigration Law Center sued the federal government Tuesday in San Diego to obtain records on Juan Manuel Montes, who was detained by the Border Patrol in February in the California border town of Calexico.
The advocacy group says the 23-year-old Montes had permission to work and live in the United States in the program that was introduced in 2012 to shield people from being deported. More than 750,000 people, known as “Dreamers,” received protected status in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On the campaign trail, President Trump indicated he would deport anyone in the country illegally. But he softened his tone shortly after taking office, saying in Jan. that Dreamers “shouldn’t be too worried.”
USA Today first reported about Montes’ case. Montes was arrested in February when he did not have photo identification and deported within three hours, USA Today reported.
According to USA Today, Montes came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 9 years old.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
There have been several high-profile cases of immigrants who had protected status under DACA being detained since Mr. Trump took office in January. In Seattle, Daniel Ramirez Medina spent six weeks in detention after officers revoked his protected status, saying he had admitted gang affiliation.
In Jackson, Mississippi, a young woman said she was detained after speaking at an immigration press conference. Despite facing deportation without a hearing, Daniela Vargas was eventually released from federal custody.