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Juan Manuel Montes, 23, was deported from the U.S., though he had protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He is appealing the decision in U.S. District Court, his attorneys said Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Juan Gastelum/National Immigration Law Center.

Deported DACA recipient drops case against the government

A 23-year-old immigrant who had claimed that he was wrongfully deported while under active protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has dropped his lawsuit against the federal government.

A federal judge in San Diego agreed to dismiss the case Thursday after the government fulfilled a records request and Juan Manuel Montes had decided to not press forward with the litigation, The San Diego Union Tribune reported.

The decision effectively ends a case that received national attention after Montes’ team of lawyers, including the National Immigration Law Center, had argued that he was the first DACA recipient to be deported under President Donald Trump. In September, the president decided to “wind down” the program.

The case had been a “taxing experience” for Montes, who now lives in Mexico, NILC senior staff attorney Nora Preciado said in a statement to the NewsHour.

“He has now asked us to dismiss his case. As his attorneys, we respect his wishes and have filed the papers on his behalf,” she added.

The Department of Homeland Security told the NewsHour that it didn’t have a comment on the suit being dropped.

Montes had lived in the U.S. since he was 9 years old and has a cognitive disability that is thought to be the result of a childhood brain injury.

In February, Montes claimed that he was wrongfully deported to Mexico as an active participant in the DACA program when Customs and Border Protection agents picked him up. The government said Montes left the country on his own volition, which affected his status. DACA recipients are required to retrieve permission to leave the country. The case received national attention for contradictory statements provided by both sides in the case.

What both Montes’ lawyers and the government do agree on is that Montes attempted to cross back into the U.S. the next day and was intercepted by border agents.

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