A federal judge recently ordered a fast-track trial to find out if the Trump administration wrongfully deported a young man who had received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Interestingly, the judge is the same one who approved the Trump University settlement and whom President Trump suggested could not be impartial due to his Mexican heritage.
The case before the court involves a 23-year-old man who received protection under DACA, which was put in place by the Obama administration in 2012. According to the Associated Press, nearly 1.8 million DACA permits and renewals have been processed, and the program remains in place.
The DACA program was meant to protect young people who were brought to the U.S. as children and therefore have no legal responsibility for being in the country without authorization. Unfortunately, this young man claims he was deported anyway.
There is no dispute about the fact that the young man was caught trying to cross into the U.S. in February. The crux of the case, however, is how he got to Mexico.
According to the young man, he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the border town of Calexico, where he had dinner with a friend. He failed to produce identification, he claims, so the border patrol agent took him into custody, questioned him for two hours, and then delivered him to Mexicali, Mexico, without creating any paperwork.
The Department of Homeland Security, the border patrol's parent agency, claims there is no evidence the man was deported, either officially or unofficially, on the night before he was caught entering the U.S. Their position is that he left the U.S. voluntarily, which voided the protections offered by DACA.
According to the AP, the young man was brought to the United States when he was 9 years old. He graduated from high school and had been pursuing a welding degree at a community college. He had also worked for two years in California and Arizona picking crops. He applied for DACA protection in 2014 and renewed that status in 2016. He is believed to be the first DACA recipient to be deported by the Trump administration.
The judge, anxious to resolve the issue quickly, has said the trial should take place in four to six weeks -- a timeline that is considered ambitious. He also told attorneys that he expected the young man to be allowed into the U.S. on parole while the issue is being decided. He is currently living in Mexico.