President Donald Trump is proving once again that anything he says won't be taken too seriously. Trump, who told ABC News he had a "big heart" when it came to protecting DREAMers, the undocumented immigrants who came to the US as kids, is now facing a lawsuit for deporting a person who's protected under the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA). That's not the only hurdle Trump's administration will have to face; they'll also need to answer to Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who Trump once claimed was biased because of his Mexican heritage.
Manuel Montes, a 23-year old DREAMer who had deportation protections under DACA, was recently deported and sent back to Mexico, reports USA Today. Montes maintains that he was waiting for a ride when a US Customs and Border Protection officer came up to him and asked him several questions. When Montes couldn't offer his ID (it was in his friend's car), he was detained, taken to a center to sign papers, and then walked to the US-Mexico border. He stayed with a friend that night in Mexico, only to be robbed soon after. Montes then tried to climb over the border, was captured by federal agents, and was then deported once more. Now Montes and his team of lawyers are filing a lawsuit against US Customs and Border Protection, asking for the agency to release information about the encounter with Montes.
It'll be up to Judge Curiel to rule whether US Customs and Border Protection should reveal any of that information. Curiel was previously accused by Trump of being biased in the fraud case against Trump University. Trump first asked Curiel to recuse himself from the trial because it was a conflict of interest. "I'm building a wall. It's an inherent conflict of interest," said Trump to the Wall Street Journal. After outrage, Trump continued to build on these comments. "I do not feel that one's heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial," he said in a statement. Well, Curiel will now be the one to decide yet another case involving Trump.
The Department of Homeland Security has released two statements about Montes, the first one stating that Montes's DACA protection ended in 2015. The department then had to amend that statement and said instead that Montes had protection until 2018, reports USA Today. However, the department also says Montes lost all protection when he left the US and tried to come back. But Montes's lawyers argue he only tried to come back because he was deported.
The case has received national attention for several reasons, including a callous tweet from Representative Steve King. In a tweet, King wrote, "First non-valedictorian DREAMer deported. Border Patrol this one's for you." The internet was quick to respond, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
It is disgusting that you are celebrating a 23-year-old getting kicked out of the only home he's ever known. https://t.co/6pS11W9dp8
- ACLU National (@ACLU) April 19, 2017
So far, Trump hasn't commented. It's unclear whether he'll repeat his "big heart" statement or if Ivanka will sway his mind again to protect DREAMers.