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  • Anti-deportation demonstrators protest outside of the White House

    Anti-deportation demonstrators protest outside of the White House | Photo: Reuters

Mexico has bolstered its consular services in the US to provide legal services to its citizens who are at risk of being deported.

Mexico's Secretariat of Foreign Relations, SRE, on Thursday slammed U.S. officials over the recent deportations of Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez, a 23-year-old “Dreamer,” and Maribel Trujillo, a 42-year-old mother of four.

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Montes was deported from California to Mexico on February 18, despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, program, CNN reports. Trujillo, who has never committed any crime in the 15 years she has lived in the U.S., was deported from Ohio to Mexico on Wednesday, The Guardian reports.

“In the frame of respect to U.S. law, the Chancellery highlights that the cases of Mrs. (Maribel) Trujillo and Mr. (Juan Manuel) Montes Bojorquez represent a violation to the express rules of deportation in that country,” the SRE said in a statement. 

“Neither of the compatriots represented a risk to the security of North American society and neither of them has a criminal background.” 

Montes became the first DACA recipient to be deported to Mexico, sparking controversy over the application of U.S. immigration laws by President Donald Trump’s administration. DACA recipients are protected under law from deportation unless they're convicted of a crime or leave the U.S. without obtaining prior authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Despite claiming that he never left the country without receiving such authorization from the proper authorities, Montes was detained by Customs and Border Protection, CBP, agents and deported to Mexico. CBP denies Montes’ allegation.

Some lawmakers, such as Sen. Susan Collins, expressed apprehension over Montes’ deportation. 

“I don't support illegal immigration. But that isn't the child's fault,” Collins told the George Hale Ric Tyler Show radio show in Maine.

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“And as I understand the details of yesterday's deportation, this individual who's in his 20s now, was brought here when he was 9 years old. And it is his parents who were at fault, not him.”

Others, like Rep. Steve King, celebrated Montes’ ouster. 

“First non-valedictorian DREAMer deported. Border Patrol, this one's for you,” King wrote on Tuesday in a Twitter post, which included a picture of a glass of beer toasting the decision.

In response to the recent spate of deportations, the Mexican government has bolstered its consular services in the U.S. with a roughly US$50 million investment in legal services for at-risk citizens.

 

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