SAN DIEGO -- A hearing was held Tuesday for the first known "dreamer" deported since President Donald Trump took office despite being protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Attorneys representing Juan Manuel Montes say he was unlawfully deported back to Mexico in February and has been stuck there ever since.
With the help of his attorneys, Montes sued the federal government in April after immigration agencies refused to provide any information to explain why he was deported.
“Six months ago, Juan Manuel Montes was detained and whisked away out of the country without an explanation, without the ability to see a judge, without the opportunity of even saying goodbye to his family," said Nora Preciado, staff attorney at National Immigration Law Center.
Montes’ counsel claims the 23-year-old was deported despite being protected by the program also known as DACA.
“He’s struggling financially and emotionally in Mexico. He’s been separated from his family for a long time. They were his support system, especially given his cognitive disabilities,” said Preciado.
The judge, who could have ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction to bring Montes back to the United States, would like to see the case go to trial.
“It's obvious this court wants to get to the bottom of what happened. The court had many questions and wants to proceed with potentially a trial in this case,” said Monica Ramirez Almadani, attorney with Covington & Burlington LLP.
The big question is whether or not Border Patrol agents in Calexico unlawfully deported Montes -- a claim the administration denies, saying he was already in Mexico.
For now, attorneys on both sides are prepared to meet Wednesday to discuss the decision to move forward with the trial and the possibility of bringing Montes back to the U.S. on probation.