DACA Recipients Were Held Up For Hours at a Border Checkpoint


A U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in San Diego, California. - FLICKR, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
  • flickr, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in San Diego, California.

Less than a week after President Trump announced he was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, at least nine DACA recipients were held without reasonable explanation for approximately eight hours at a border checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas on September 11.

The Monitor broke the news that morning, when an immigration attorney was informed by one of her clients, a DACA recipient, that he and several others were being held up at the checkpoint by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

“We learned from the agency that DACA recipients were now going to be subject to screenings at the checkpoint, based on new guidance from headquarters,” said Astrid Dominguez, an immigrant rights strategist for the ACLU, during a press call on Wednesday. “This is the first time we hear about the new guidance, and this is the first incident after the announcement that DACA is ending. This guidance is yet to be clarified.”

Rod Kise, a spokesman for CBP, claimed it was standard procedure.
In a statement, Kise said the hold-up was so they could verify all of the group's documents. “The individuals were then released to proceed with their journey, consistent with established policies and procedures,” Kise said.

“It is clear to me that Trump, Sessions, and others like them would like to see people like me and my family deported, and that they are employing fear tactics at the border to intimidate us and paralyze us,” said Abraham Diaz on the call. Diaz is a DACA recipient who has lived in the Rio Grande Valley for the last fifteen years.

Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who represents McAllen, wrote a letter to Trump urging him to respond to the incident. In his letter, Gonzalez also confirmed there was a departmental policy in effect that CBP personnel will “temporarily detain DACA recipients at checkpoints while they conduct checks.”

“This situation caused me to consider, for the first time in my legal career, the idea that perhaps federal agencies and personnel should take a ‘Presidential Tweet’ more seriously,” Gonzalez wrote.

He's referring to a tweet Trump posted shortly after announcing the DACA rollback: “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about - No action!”

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