June 13, 2017
Will Trump succeed in blocking undocumented immigrants?

A centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign was a promise to get tough on immigration, both the illegal kind that occurs across the U.S.-Mexican border and the legal type — particularly involving refugees — from certain Muslim countries that the president says could make America vulnerable to terrorist attacks. But early in his administration federal courts blocked Trump’s efforts to temporarily ban Muslim visitors from certain countries, while his plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border have yet to show results. However, given freer rein by the Trump administration than they had under President Barack Obama, federal immigration agents have taken a more aggressive approach to rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants.

Contractors work on a new section of border fence separating the U.S. and Mexico. (Getty Images/Bloomberg/Luke Sharrett) Contractors work on a new section of border fence separating the U.S. and Mexico in Sunland Park, N.M., on Feb. 17, 2017. The Trump administration has outlined a sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants, pledging to extend the existing wall and fencing that separates the two countries. (Getty Images/Bloomberg/Luke Sharrett)

On Feb. 17, Manuel Montes, 23, of Calexico, Calif., became the first of the “Dreamers” — young immigrants originally brought to the United States as children — to be deported by the Trump administration. Montes was sent back to Mexico despite Trump’s earlier pledge that his get-tough stance on undocumented immigrants would not include Dreamers. 1

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama and left intact by President Trump, dreamers are allowed to stay in the United States unless they have been convicted of a serious crime. 2 But Montes, who was waiting for a ride when he was approached by a U.S Customs and Border Protection officer, reportedly had left his wallet in a friend’s car and was unable to produce an ID to prove his DACA status. He was not allowed to retrieve his ID and within three hours had been deported. 3