The Mexican government said Thursday the U.S. ignored its own immigration rules when it deported two illegal aliens back to Mexico.
The Secretariat of Foreign Relations, known in Mexico as SRE or the Chancellery, called the deportations of a so-called “Dreamer” and a mother of four a “violation” of immigration policy because neither had a criminal past.
“With respect to U.S. law, the Chancellery points out that the cases of Mrs. [Maribel] Trujillo and Mr. [Juan Manuel] Montes Bojorquez represent a violation of the expressed rules of deportation in that country,” SRE said in a statement. “Neither of the countrymen represented a risk to the security of American society and neither of them has a criminal background.”
SRE reaffirmed its promise to defend the “rights of Mexicans in the United States, among them the right to due process, regardless of their immigration status.”
Mexican citizenship extends to both legal and illegal immigrants living in the U.S., who come from Mexican descent.
The case of Montes Bojorquez provoked public outcry after USA Today reported Tuesday that the 23-year-old was detained and summarily deported by Customs and Border Protection officers in February. Montes had previously received temporary legal status under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA shields certain illegal immigrants — known as “Dreamers” — from deportation unless they commit a crime or leave the country without prior authorization.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disputed the USA Today report, telling the The Daily Caller that Montes was deported after Border Patrol agents caught him illegally crossing a border fence into Calexico, Calif. DHS conceded that Montes had renewed his DACA status, but said the protection was voided when he left the U.S. without advanced notice.
Trujillo Diaz was deported Wednesday after exhausting her appeals with U.S. immigration authorities. She came to the U.S. illegally in 2002, petitioning for asylum because of drug cartel violence in Mexico, The Hill reported.
“Ms. Trujillo-Diaz’s immigration case underwent review at multiple levels of our nation’s legal system and the courts uniformly held that she had no legal basis to remain in the United States,” a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told The Hill. “In 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed her legal appeals and she became subject to a final order of deportation.”
SRE said that both examples were a violation of previous rules, possibly referring to Obama’s DACA order and a 2014 directive from former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson that instructed immigration authorities to exercise greater “prosecutorial discretion” on deportation cases.
President Donald Trump reversed or modified enforcement of those policies in a January executive order, which directed DHS to consider anyone in the U.S. illegally as a potential target for deportation. While Trump has not formally rescinded DACA, he has not explicitly placed “Dreamers” off-limits from detention and removal either.
“DACA enrollees are not being targeted. I don’t know why this individual was picked up,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said about the Montes Bojorquez case on Wednesday.
Sessions was clear, however, that any illegal alien could face deportation under the new immigration rules.
“The policy is that if people are here unlawfully, they’re subject to being deported,” he said.
This report, by Will Racke, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.