Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are questioning if the federal DACA program really offers any protection after 23-year old Juan Manuel Montes was deported, although he was categorized as a “dreamer.” He’s lived in the United States since he was eight years old, and was supposed to have DACA protection, yet ICE agents still deported him, says Larkin and Lacey.
When stopped, Montes had left his wallet in the car and agents refused to let him go retrieve it. He was deported back to Mexico within three hours of being stopped.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Montes had not registered in that program since 2015, however, immigrant activists insist he had renewed for the program, and had identification to prove it, but just not on him. Montes attorney has since delivered proof of Montes DACA cards that are valid until 2018. According to DHS, they have no record of renewal of current DACA status protection. Read more: About Lacey and Larkin- Frontera Fund
Every two years, immigrants must renew DACA status, and conditions are attached to that renewal including absence of any criminal record. Montes has been arrested in the United States for theft, but was on probation. However, as one of the conditions of having DACA status is no criminal record, officials are saying that the theft charge automatically voided Montes’ DACA status.
Secretary John Kelly had made statements that no one with DACA loses such protection unless he or she had violated the conditions. However, United We Dream, an advocacy group that helps DACA individuals says at least 10 “dreamers” are in federal custody. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin said Montes could be the first known dreamer deportation case.
Montes was repatriated back to Mexico last February, but then jumped the border fence, entering back into the United States, where he was recaptured by Border Patrol just minutes later.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin say lawsuits have been filed by the National Immigration Law Center. Larkin and Lacey know all too well about the injustice of being picked up and held unlawfully. Both men were handcuffed and detained, in 2007, by the controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, from Maricopa County, Arizona. A lawsuit ensued and after winning a $3.7 million dollar settlement, the media executives established the Frontera Fund to help fight against mistreatment and abuse.
The Frontera Fund offers a platform to people who are outraged by social injustice. Since its founding, the organization focuses on protecting the rights of individuals, and bringing attention to the erosion of the human rights system.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737