Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old from Calexico, California is the latest victim of the mass deportation agenda that Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions currently have going on. Montes’ case is not isolated, The Washington Post reports that since Trump took office, arrests of undocumented immigrants rose 32.6 percent.
What stands out from Montes’ case and subsequent deportation is that he is a Dreamer and current DACA recipient. Trump has flip-flopped his position on the DACA program, from promising to repeal President Obama’s Executive Order, to saying that he has a “big heart” for Dreamers. In March, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that the government had an obligation to fulfill the DACA program. Neither Trump nor his immigration team has kept an official stance on this complicated issue.
One thing is certain, no matter what Trump says, his goal is to continue with mass deportations.
In Ohio, Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four, with no prior criminal convictions, was snatched outside of her home; ICE officers did not even let her say goodbye to her children, all who are underage. Despite support from her community, letters to Secretary Kelly, Diaz was deported the morning of April 19.
Between January and March, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 21,362 undocumented immigrants, a spike in over 5,000 arrests, according to statistics obtained by The Washington Post. The increase in arrests of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record has increased significantly, and by the looks of it, there is no stopping ICE in targeting undocumented immigrants who were not a priority for deportation under President Obama.
The fear among undocumented and mixed-immigration status’ families is palpable, as evident by Montes’ deportation, DACA recipients are being targeted.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed by Fox News the morning of April 19 (the same morning that Maribel Trujillo Diaz was deported.) In said interview, Sessions confirmed that Dreamers were not exempt from deportation. “We can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they’re not going to be deported,” said Sessions. If this continues, how can any Dreamer who is “protected” under DACA feel at ease?
No undocumented immigrant is safe under Trump, the cases about immigrants without a criminal record being deported are surfacing more and more frequently. America’s Voices published an article with a list of immigrants without a criminal record deported under Trump; Roberto Berinstain was detained after coming back from vacation with his wife, Mario Hernandez-De La Cruz was detained in Detroit, De La Cruz owned a carpet business, and like millions of immigrants, paid his taxes every year. Eliseo Pereyra, another Ohio resident, was also deported, Pereyra has a son with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Trump is targeting non-criminals, Americans without papers that contribute to their local communities and pay taxes. Pew Research Center reported that in 2010, undocumented immigrants contributed to $13 billion in payroll taxes. Another report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that undocumented immigrants contribute $11.74 billion in state and local taxes. These numbers are oblivious to Trump, Attorney General Sessions, and Secretary Kelly.
Help Power Up Our Work. Sign up for our ‘BoldLatina News’ or Invest In Our Future Become A ‘BoldLatina Collective’ Member
Our communities are in grave danger, and we have to rally together to help. We have to spread the word not only on the monetary contributions that they produce, but we also have to hold our government accountable. If you live in an area governed by a Republican, demand a town hall meeting, send them a fax, a letter, an email. The Resistance is only as strong as how we want it. Our undocumented brothers and sisters need our help today more than ever.