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20 April 2017, 10:22 | Gladys Abbott
A man who is believed to be the first undocumented immigrant to be deported under the Trump administration despite having permission to live and work in the USA filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging he hasn't been told why he was sent back to Mexico just hours after his arrest.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached him and asked for identification, but Montes had left his wallet in a friend's vehicle.
President Donald Trump in January said undocumented immigrants in the US protected under the DACA act "shouldn't be very anxious".
WASHINGTON ― Immigrant rights advocates were dismayed on Tuesday by reports that the first undocumented immigrant with active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections was deported under President Donald Trump.
After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on February 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, grabbed a bite and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions. And yet, a 23-year-old who has lived in the U.S. since he was nine has now found himself back in Mexico. Above a photo of a mug, he wrote, "First non-valedictorian DREAMer deported".
"I was forced out because I was nervous and didn't know what to do or say, but my home is there", Montes said in a statement provided by his lawyers. He said he left his wallet in a friend's auto, but was told by agents he could not retrieve his ID or proof of his DACA status.
Trump talked tough about building a border wall throughout his campaign, and since taking office has tried to limit immigration from several Muslim majority nations as well crack down on illegal immigrants with criminal records.
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A group of attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in California, asking a judge to force Customs and Border Protection to release details of the alleged incident.
The lawsuit seeks records explaining why Montes was deported to Mexico, alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act.
CBP and USCIS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Montes, who came to the United States when he was 9, graduated from high school in 2013 and pursued a welding degree at community college, according to the lawsuit. He then worked two years picking crops in California and Arizona.
Montes' attorneys say their client qualified for DACA in 2014 and renewed his status for two years in 2016.
Former President Obama first implemented the policy in June 2012, and it now has 750,000 participants.
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