I'm urging our elected officials to support the return of DACA recipient Juan Manuel Montes to his home in the United States. ICE should prioritize deportations for criminals who have committed violent crimes and respect the protected status of DACA recipients. Juan Manuel Montes is a 23 year old who has lived in the United States for 14 years and has twice been granted deferral of deportation and a work permit under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. President Trump has stated that DACA recipients, or DREAMers as they are also called, are not currently targets of his mass deportation campaign. Despite Juan's active DACA status, he was arrested by ICE agents in February and deported to Mexico within 3 hours of his arrest because he did not have his ID on him. His documentation was in a friend's car, but the agents refused to let him retreive them.
Juan's arrest and deportation set a chilling precedent for the more than 750,000 other young people who have gained the right to work and live in the United States under the DACA program. The Trump administration has claimed that their goal is to remove violent criminals from the country, but the actions of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security do not resemble that priority. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told a local radio show that she was "troubled" by the deportation of a DREAMer, and added that the move "does seem to contradict the President's own policy." The unnecessary raids and arrests of DACA recipients and non-violent undocumented immigrants who simply want to forge a better life for their family must stop