The attorneys of Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, a young immigrant believed to be the first “DREAMer” to be deported under the Trump administration, presented an amended federal complaint demanding for the 23-year-old’s return to the United States. Montes-Bojorquez was deported despite being protected by his DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status.
The first federal complaint, filed on April 18, appealed to the Freedom of Information Act for the release of documents related to his surprise arrest and questionable deportation. The amended complaint filed recently makes similar demands in rendering the February 20 expedited removal order invalid, stating “Mr. Montes must be returned to the United States, and his DACA status must be restored forthwith as there was no legal basis for his expulsion from the United States.”
The amended complaint also emphasizes that Montes-Bojorquez’s deportation was not only unconstitutional, it also violated an existing agreement between Mexico and the U.S. The agreement, made in February 2016, protects deportees from returning to Mexico during “unsafe times” and enacts a rule prohibiting deportations between 10 pm to 6 am.
Border Patrol agents arrested and deported Montes-Bojorquez on February 19 for, according to his attorneys, “no apparent legal reason.” The agents took the young man’s fingerprints, and are alleged to have deported him despite knowing of his DACA status and discovering his Alien Registration Number. The arrest was made late at night as the 23-year-old was walking back home from a visit to a friend’s house.
Montes-Bojorquez first entered the United States as a 9-year old, qualifying him for DACA. He has since legally stayed in the United States and received authorization to apply for work legally under DACA’s provisions.
The records on hand, however, do not make any mention of the DREAMer’s DACA protected status, prompting the lawsuit.
Montes-Bojorquez’s complaint states: “CBP officers had, or should have had, the electronic means of verifying Mr. Montes’ identity and his DACA status, failed to make such identifications, and/or otherwise ignored that Mr. Montes was authorized to remain in the United States.”
No expedited removal order has since been produced. In addition, the documents had been heavily redacted upon turnover, blotting out the names of the arresting officers, which would be integral in investigating the circumstances of the plaintiff’s arrest and subsequent deportation.
Montes-Bojorquez claims he was never presented to an immigration judge or allowed legal counsel before his deportation. He also says he was never given a chance to present the paperwork certifying his DACA status nor his work authorization.
In justifying his arrest and deportation, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement claiming Montes-Bojorquez “…left the United States without advance parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest.”
The court has yet to set a hearing date for Montes-Bojorquez’s case.
If you, or a loved one, are protected under DACA status and want to know about your rights, talk to the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today to sit down for a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.