Court hearing for the first ‘Dreamer’ deported under Trump Administration continues
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The case of the first known "Dreamer" to be deported under the Trump Administration could go to trial by the end of the year in the U.S. District Court Southern District of California.
Judge Gonsalvo Curiel is expected to make a decision on bringing Juan Manuel Montes, 23, back to the U.S. to testify, as soon as next week.
Montez was deported in February, being protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He is suing the federal government for his right to stay in the United States.
Attorneys for Montes argues he was unlawfully removed from the country in the dead of the night Feb.18, after immigration officials detained him near the border in Calexico, California. By law, U.S. Border Patrol agents are not allowed to return Mexican citizens after 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The immigration officials argue Montes was caught Feb. 19, trying to re-enter the U.S., and they say that means he voluntarily left the country and forfeited his DACA protection. They have no evidence showing him being deported the night before.
Montes’ attorneys are asking the government provide video of the night in question, the names of the agents who were working, and their policies regarding deportation of DACA protected immigrants. They estimate it will take until the end of the year before they have complied and prepared all of the evidence to be presented in trial.
Montes is also asking to be returned to the U.S. immediately. His attorneys argue he needs to give statements regarding what happened, before they go to trial. Montez also suffers from a cognitive disability after suffer major head trauma. His attorneys say the sooner he can come to the U.S., the more accurate his testimony.
Montes sued the federal government in April after immigration agencies refused to provide any information to explain why he was deported. In July, attorneys representing Montes submitted declarations and other evidence that prove Montes was unlawfully removed.
Curiel’s decision is being watched. He is the judge who oversaw the Trump University lawsuit.Then-candidate Donald Trump blasted Curiel as politically biased because of his Mexican heritage. Curiel’s decision could become a national symbol of the fight over DACA’s future.
DACA protects undocumented youth who were brought here as young children. Under DACA, they can defer deportation for at least two years, get a work permit and enroll in school. In Montes’s case, he was brought to California at the age of 9-years-old and knows no other country but the U.S.
Montes is represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Covington and Burling LLP, the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, and the Law Offices of Belinda Escobosa Helzer.