President Trump is no stranger to lawsuits. Over the years, he’s been sued for failing to pay his bills, for running a fake university, and more recently, for violating the First Amendment rights of people he’s blocked on Twitter. Trump is now facing yet another lawsuit, this time from an undocumented immigrant who was deported despite being covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez, 23, was deported in February of this year. In April, he filed a lawsuit arguing that, as a DACA recipient, he shouldn’t have been deported.
On Friday, POLITICO reported that the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to allow him back into the U.S. temporarily for his deposition and trial.
During a phone conference on Thursday with U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel (whom Trump previously referred to as a “hater” during his campaign), Justice Department Attorney Aaron Goldsmith said DHS officials “are prepared to parole [Montes] in the day before” his trial.
Montes’ lawyers responded by saying they need more preparation time, in part because he suffers from cognitive issues and a traumatic brain injury from his childhood.
When he set the dates for Montes’ deposition and trial — late October and December 4, respectively — Curiel encouraged authorities to allow him to enter the country a week before each event. When he made this request, he said:
‘It would be my request that the paroling of Mr. Montes provide him with at least seven days in advance of the deposition and the trial. Extending it to seven days is not something that Mr. Montes is manufacturing in order to receive some benefit. It is just part and parcel of the preparation that’s necessary to try a case.’
A spokesman for CBP in San Diego told POLITICO on Friday that the agency plans to comply with Curiel’s request.
Montes has said that he was approached by a CBP officer while he was waiting for a ride in Calexico, California, on February 17. He couldn’t prove his DACA status at the time because he’d forgotten his wallet in a friend’s car. He was not allowed to retrieve the documents and was deported to Mexico.
Two days later, Montes was caught trying to climb a border wall to re-enter the U.S. and was deported again.
DHS officials have said that Montes’ deportation was justified because he left the U.S. without permission, which nullified his DACA status. They have also said that they have no record of him being deported in February.
The news about Montes’ lawsuit comes at a time when President Trump is being heavily scrutinized for his decision to end the DACA program after a six-month delay. Trump’s decision has caused additional problems for Montes, whose DACA work permit was set to expire in January of next year. If he was in the U.S., Montes could have applied for another two-year renewal by October 5. He will not be able to do this, though, since his lawsuit will not be wrapped up by that date.
Nora Preciado of the National Immigration Law Center told Curiel that she hopes Montes will be allowed to apply for renewal past the deadline if his lawsuit is successful.
‘This case will obviously not be resolved by then, and so we do want to amend the prayer for relief to include that, if he is successful on his claim, that he be allowed to apply for that renewal past that deadline.’
Featured image via PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images.