Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an inveterate advocate of immigration reform and border security, noted the deportation of an illegal alien, Juan Manuel Montes, a so-called “DREAMer” who entered the United States more than a decade ago as a child. In a Twitter post, King added a photograph of a mug of beer to the words, ”Border patrol, this one’s for you.”
His tweet bore a link to an article by USA Today story that described the ouster of Montes (23). The young man entered the country at the age of nine. Until recently, he had been allowed to remain in U.S. due to his status as a so-called “DREAMer” that was granted by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) inaugurated by Barack Obama.
Montes is the first illegal alien deported by the Trump administration while protected by DACA. Montes told USA Today, “Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen.” He added, “I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen.”
In the past, President Donald Trump has suggested that illegal aliens immigrants who were brought to the country as children might be spared deportation. During a February news conference, for example, Trump said, “We’re gonna show great heart,” and added, “DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids…I love these kids. I love kids. I have kids and grandkids. And I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do, and, you know, the law is rough.”
Congressman King has been a frequent critic of the immigration policies of previous administrations and has been outspoken. In March, for example, King said in a tweet, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Despite criticism hurled by immigration advocates, he held firmly to his position afterward.
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.