There’s a year-old article from USA Today that’s popped up a bunch of times in our feed today on Juan Manuel Montes, a then 23-year-old California man who said at the time that he was deported back to Mexico even though he’s a DREAMer. The USA Today article doesn’t get into too many details, however, which is adding to the confusion.
The deportation is “brutal”:
A 23 year old has been brutally deported to a country he barely knows, in the first known case of a DREAMer being deported under Trump. https://t.co/WVAENsBg9j
— abolish ice. send homan to the hague. (@SeanMcElwee) April 22, 2018
And he’s “protected”:
First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump https://t.co/XTyz0ZYt2X
— deray (@deray) April 22, 2018
It’s “beyond cruelty”:
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) April 20, 2018
And he’s as “American as ” Ron Fournier:
This young man is as American as I am. And we deported him …. https://t.co/0k6B7rolIo
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) April 22, 2018
But understand, it’s more complicated than the USA Today version as DHS actually caught Montes as he was allegedly hopping the border fence from the Mexico side to the U.S. From Vox on the same day as the USA Today report:
Here’s where it gets complicated: The Department of Homeland Security isn’t arguing that they deported Montes on February 17 because his DACA protections had expired. (DHS initially told reporters that Montes’s DACA protection had expired in 2015, but “after a thorough check,” a spokesperson told the Washington Examiner’s Byron York on Wednesday, “we saw that he had renewed.”) It’s arguing they never deported him on February 17 at all.
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t initially offer any details about Montes’s deportation to USA Today. But after the story came out, it claimed it had no records of that February 17 encounter whatsoever.
It does have a record, however, of Montes being apprehended “minutes” after climbing the US/Mexico border fence to get back into the US, and being deported upon admitting that he’d entered the US illegally.
We remembered the story and were curious as to how things shook out. And, SURPRISE! Montes, who sued the feds after his deportation, dropped said lawsuit in October. From the San Diego Union Tribune:
A 23-year-old Imperial Valley man who claimed to be the first “dreamer” deported under the Trump administration has dropped his lawsuit against the federal government, closing a case that garnered national attention and presented wildly conflicting facts from each side.
The lawsuit in San Diego federal court filed on behalf of Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez not only sought his return to the U.S., but also asked the government to release records of his encounter with border officers the night of Feb. 18. The government has contended that there was no encounter, that Montes was lying, and therefore no such records existed.
So, not only are they a year late, Trump is vindicated!