Yesterday a story was carried by USA Today that alleged that a young man, a DREAMer, was scooped up off the streets of Calexico, CA by Border Patrol agents, refused the ability to present identification, and summarily deported to Mexico. As you’ll see in my post from last night, this story definitely fell into the “too good not to check” category:
I’ll cop to being old and out of touch but I know I never went on a date and “grabbed a bite” but was separated from my wallet. From the cash in my wallet? Yes. From my wallet? No. How did the Border Patrol ascertain that Montes was illegal without looking at identification? He was deported in February but the story is only filtering out now. Really? How very strange.
As was to be expected, the usual suspects jumped at the chance to take whacks at Trump and the Border Patrol:
Juan Manuel Montes had permission to live and work in the U.S. but was deported anyway. We're suing to find out why https://t.co/TKocTvpcVL
— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC) April 18, 2017
“I’m disturbed about reports that a Dreamer with DACA protection has been deported,” the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat Dick Durbin said in a statement. “I’ve contacted DHS to demand an explanation. Just last month Secretary Kelly promised me that no one with DACA would lose this protection unless they violated the terms of DACA. I intend to hold him to this commitment.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went farther than Durbin, calling the report “appalling.”
“Another promise cruelly broken by President Trump, this one with heartbreaking consequences for brave young DREAMers across the nation,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Instead of honoring the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, President Trump has unleashed an indiscriminate deportation dragnet of appalling inhumanity.”
It seems like the organization pushing this story had counted on the Border Patrol refusing to respond to the story which would leave their version as the official narrative. They also seem to have tried to muddy the waters by not using the deportee’s full name. Unlike a few months ago, the Border Patrol has responded to knock down this fable.
David Lapan, a DHS spokesman, told TheDC, “Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez was apprehended by the Calexico Station Border Patrol after illegally entering the U.S. by climbing over the fence in downtown Calexico. He was arrested by BP just minutes after he made his illegal entry and admitted under oath during the arrest interview that he had entered illegally.”
The spokesman added, “His DACA status expired in Aug. 2015 and he was notified at that time. In addition, he has a conviction for theft for which he received probation.”
So the guy was caught crossing into the US illegally (a criminal offense). His DACA status
expired nearly two years ago was void. *[See Update Below]. Plus he has a conviction for theft. This latter fact is significant because even though his lawyer claims a theft conviction doesn’t affect DACA status, the lawyer is lying. As you can see by this chart, any criminal conviction makes awarding of DACA status discretionary on the part of DHS.
For all the angst by the mainstream press over #FakeNews, they, not a bevy of Macedonian teenagers, are the biggest purveyors. USA Today pushed this story without getting comment from the agency that caught the deportee. They were utterly credulous in their acceptance of every part of the story. If a story had been written in the Kremlin with the intention of fostering distrust in the Border Patrol, this is the story they would have churned out.
UPDATE: Since the time of this posting, Federal Officials have issued a correction to their earlier statement, saying that Montes protected DREAMer status was not expired and wouldn’t expire until 2018. They also stated, however, that he was not deported, but left the United States for Mexico voluntarily, an act which would void his DACA protections. (Source)