Things That Matter

First DACA Recipient To Be Deported Sues Trump Administration

National Immigration Law Center

Every “Dreamer’s” worst nightmare under the Trump Administration has become a reality: A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient has been deported.

On February 17, 23-year-old DACA recipient Juan Manuel Montes was walking to a taxi stand after hanging out with his girlfriend in Calexico, CA when he was approached by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The officer asked for ID, which Montes could not provide because, according to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), he left his wallet in a friend’s car.

Montes has been in the United States since he was 9 years old. According to his attorney, Montes has been granted protection from deportation under the DACA program twice and his status is valid until 2018.  Presumably because he couldn’t provide proof of his protected status, the CBP officer arrested Montes. Three hours later, he was deported to Mexicali, Mexico.

Wait, WHAT?! DACA recipients are not supposed to get deported. DACA was set up under the Obama Administration for qualifying immigrants that were brought into the country as young children to protect them from being deported and to allow them to apply for work permits.

Although Trump has made good on his campaign promise to ramp up efforts to deport the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, for a minute it seemed as though “Dreamers” would be spared. “They shouldn’t be worried.” Trump told ABC News in January, “I do have a big heart.”

And yet, Montes got deported in February and remains in Mexico. His story is just now getting coverage because on Tuesday he filed a federal lawsuit “demanding that the federal government turn over key information about his sudden deportation.” According to the complaint, Montes wasn’t given an explanation or any documentation as to why he was deported.

It comes as no surprise that Montes, who has spent most of his life in the U.S., wants to come back. “I was forced out because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do or say, but my home is there,” Montes stated. “I miss my job. I miss school. And I want to continue to work toward better opportunities. But most of all, I miss my family, and I have hope that I will be able to go back so I can be with them again.”

For now he’s staying with an aunt and uncle in Mexico as he waits to see if he’ll be allowed back into the country where he grew up.

Find out more about Montes and what this could mean for other DACA recipients here.

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With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided

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With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided

As president, Donald Trump’s platform has centered on anti-immigrant policies; however, as a real estate tycoon, his businesses have thrived on the labor of undocumented workers. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement carrying out massive raids across the country, some media are asking why the agency hasn’t busted any of Trump’s properties, despite its striking record of making unauthorized hires.

To be clear, outlets aren’t calling for more raids of undocumented workers but rather spotlighting the hypocrisy of a president who monetarily benefits from the very labor his administration controversially and violently resolves to stamp out.

When asked about Trump’s businesses seeming to be immune from investigation, CBP has remained silent on the issue.

During CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan why ICE, which Morgan headed until last month, hadn’t conducted any raids or investigations into Trump’s clubs and hotels given multiple reports that the properties employ undocumented people.

“You really can’t say that for sure,” Morgan said, evading questions about the validity of the claims made against Trump’s businesses. “There are investigations going on all the time that you’re unaware of. … Of course, it’s going to jeopardize the investigation if I come on here and I talk to you about an investigation that’s going on.”

According to undocumented workers who have been employed by Trump, the president was aware of their immigration status.

Since 2015, when Trump announced his bid for presidency, journalists have reported on the mendacity of a then-candidate calling the people who built his real estate empire “rapists” and “drug-runners.” Since taking office, more news has circulated on the president’s use of undocumented immigrant labor. 

Last December, the New York Times interviewed undocumented housekeeper Victorina Morales, who had been working at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. In the article, the Guatemalan woman disclosed that employers were aware of her immigration status when she was hired in 2013 and instructed her to use phony papers in an effort to swindle the system.

The news was particularly damning at the time as the president was calling for the expansion of E-Verify, an online tool by the federal government that checks whether employees are legally eligible to work. According to a later report by the Washington Postnot only were several of his properties not using the tool but they were also informing people on how to illegally fake documents to get hired.

In May, CNN spoke with 19 undocumented immigrants who previously worked for Trump and noted that the president was undoubtedly aware of their status and employment.

“Some of these employees were the most-trusted employees of the Trump family. They’ve been working there for 10, 15 years,” Anibal Romero, a lawyer representing 38 immigrants who were undocumented while working at the Trump property, said during the segment. “Some of my clients had the keys to Eric Trump’s house in Westchester, New York.”

More recently, the Washington Post reported that many construction crews at Trump properties were made up of undocumented workers. The news came not long after Eric Trump announced that the company was making a “broad effort” to fire unauthorized workers. In the article, one employee noted that his supervisor also told him how to buy fake paperwork on a street corner in New York.

The reason why businessman Trump participates in the “immigration problem” he rails against as president is simple: it gives his company a competitive advantage.

Not only are undocumented laborers paid less but they are also less likely to quit due to limited employment opportunities and not as likely to complain if they are being mistreated, as many are.

With evidence that employers are oftentimes very aware of the immigration status of their undocumented laborers, Tapper asked Morgan why companies who hire unauthorized workers are not punished along with the workers themselves. According to a Syracuse University report that the host cited, only 11 people and no companies were prosecuted for employing undocumented workers between the spring of 2018 and 2019. During the same time, 85,727 people were prosecuted for entering the US illegally.

Morgan responded that an investigation into at least one of the businesses that employs undocumented workers is ongoing.

The interview came days after ICE raided a Mississippi chicken processing plant. The massive bust, which arrested 680 people suspected of being undocumented workers and ripped apart hundreds of families, was the largest worksite takedown in US history. No employers have currently been arrested.

Read: Customs And Border Protections Chief Mark Morgan Defended The Mississippi Raids Despite Children Left Without Parents

The Trump Administration Is Making It Harder For Low Income Migrants To Get Green Cards And Citizenship

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The Trump Administration Is Making It Harder For Low Income Migrants To Get Green Cards And Citizenship

leekris / Getty Images

The Trump administration has been guilty of using dangerous rhetoric against immigrants, and Latinos in particular. But in addition to the often times blatantly racist rhetoric, the administration has also taken steps to stem the flow of migrants from Latin American countries.

Until recently, the government was set on stopping undocumented migrants from coming to the US – case in point, Trump’s vanity project of the border wall. The government has also limited the ability of refugees to claim asylum in the US, threatening the safety, security, and literal lives of tens of thousands of people.

However, as of today, the Trump administration is also moving to limit legal immigration to the country by basically making their lives a living hell once they’ve arrived in the US.

On Monday, the administration announced a new rule that would severely limit legal immigrant’s right to public assistance.

The Trump administration released a regulation Monday that could dramatically cut the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter and stay in the US by making it easier to reject green card and visa applications.

Paired with last week’s enforcement raids on food processing plants in Mississippi, Monday’s announcement amounts to a concerted effort by the administration to limit legal immigration and crack down on illegal immigration.

The 837-page rule applies to those seeking to come to or remain in the United States via legal channels and is expected to impact roughly 383,000 people, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 

The new rule is set to begin on October 15 and will impose several new restrictions for recent arrivals and green card holders.

The rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, and have used benefits such as most forms of Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, because they’d be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future.

Under current regulations put in place in 1996, the term “public charge” is defined as someone who is “primarily dependent” on government assistance, meaning it supplies more than half their income. But it only counted cash benefits, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income from Social Security.

Officials can take into account an applicant’s financial resources, health, education, skills, family status and age. But few people are rejected on these relatively narrow grounds, experts said.

But according to the Trump administration, none of this is meant to target Latinos – which, of course, few people are believing.

When asked about whether the rule is unfairly targeting low-income immigrants, Cuccinelli said: “We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet, so if people are not able to be self-sufficient, than this negative factor is going to bear very heavily against them in a decision about whether they’ll be able to become a legal permanent resident. “

On Twitter, this has been the general consensus:

As a defense of the its policies against undocumented migrants and asylum seekers, the Trump administration has often relied on talking points about legal immigration to sound compassionate and welcoming. The administration often says “we are a nation of laws“ and that if They’re followed the US is here to welcome you.

With this new regulation, the administration is proving that’s not true. And people across social media are not having any of it.

While many pointed out that this was flat out discrimination against the poor.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump also issued a memorandum doubling down on a current law that requires immigrants’ sponsors to take financial responsibility for certain income-based government benefits the immigrant receives. It’s unclear whether enforcing the law would make any substantial difference.

Several immigrant’s rights activists and organizations are already threatening swift legal action.

Monday’s regulation is likely to meet legal challenges, but it could still cause some who fear retribution to alter their daily lives.

About one in seven adults in immigrant families reported that either the person or a family member did not participate in a non-cash safety net program last year because of fear of risking his or her green card status in the future, an Urban Institute study found.

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