Community Reacts To Dreamer's Lawsuit To Stop Deportation

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 3:18pm
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 3:24pm

Immigration rights are also in the headlines right now with news of the recent lawsuit filed by Juan Manuel Montes. Montes is believed to be the first immigrant protected from deportation under a policy known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to be deported during the Trump administration.

He’s suing the federal government for deporting him, despite being approved to stay in the country under this Obama administration policy.

KJZZ’s Carrie Jung is in the studio. We just heard your story about the Phoenix Union High School District’s “community resource fairs.”

Among the advocacy groups that were there, it was definitely something they touched on and used as an example.

We heard from Karina Ruiz, with the Arizona DREAM Act coalition. Her reaction in the piece, especially to hearing those details that he signed papers and answered agent questions, was what struck me the most. She explained he had the right to refuse to do all of that and if he had just known that, he could be in a different situation right now.

Some of the latest news being reported on Montes’ case is that federal officials are now walking back claims that his DACA status was expired as they originally explained. Homeland Security officials are now saying Montes voluntarily left the U.S. for Mexico. The White House has also weighed in recently. Spokesman Sean Spicer says the situation is “being looked at” and that “the facts are not completely out yet."

What about the families and students that you met? Was this news something that was worrying them?

There was a lot of anxiety in the community in general because people were really not clear what their rights were, especially when it came to things they could legally refuse to do, despite being asked aggressively by immigration officials.

One of the attendees, Elisa, who gave only her first name, said getting this legal crash course, if you will, was empowering, especially during a time when a lot of her community members are facing uncertain futures.

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