Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Tuesday poured a cold one to celebrate U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s deportation of an undocumented immigrant who was legally protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) April 18, 2017
USA Today reported on Wednesday that in February, federal agents deported Juan Manuel Montes despite his active DACA status.
Montes, who is 23 years old, was brought to the United States at age 9. He has lived in the country since and received deportation protections twice under the program, per USA Today. According to the report, federal agents refused to let him retrieve his ID or prove his status and deported Montes within hours of approaching him.
President Donald Trump in January told ABC News that DACA recipients “shouldn’t be very worried.”
“I do have a big heart,” he said. “We’re going to take care of everybody.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer also signaled in January that Trump was not prioritizing the revocation of deportation relief for DACA enrollees, also known as DREAMers (after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).
“He’s going to work through it with his team in a very humane way to make sure that he respects the situation that many of these children are in,” Spicer said.
King, less than pleased with the White House’s inaction, said in February that Trump should have repealed the DACA program “on the first day” of his presidency.
“All he had to do was sign an executive order on the first day. That should’ve been done,” he said. “I want to see it done, and done soon, because the problem is getting bigger every day.”
King referred to Montes as a “non-valedictorian” in his tweet posted Tuesday, likely a reference to an infamous 2013 interview in which King claimed that for every DREAMer who becomes a valedictorian “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
John Boehner, then House Speaker, gave a succinct response to that comment: “What an asshole.”