Discussion Points for Punto Legal- April 26, 2017

1. DACA.

President Trump said last Friday that undocumented immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children should "rest easy" and not fear deportation under his administration's efforts to ramp up immigration enforcement.

The president told The Associated Press in an interview that his calls to crack down on illegal immigration are focused primarily on removing criminals from the U.S. and are not geared toward Dreamers.

Trump's comments came on the heels of a lawsuit filed last week claiming that a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was deported to Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security said that the individual, 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes, had originally left the country on his own. Montes said he was forced out.

After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on February 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions.

Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration.

We will continue to follow the Montes case, but what this means for you is DACA is here to stay.

If you have been putting off applying for DACA or renewing your DACA, you should apply.

If you have DACA and want to travel with advance permission, do it.

2. DUI's and DACA.

As most of you know, a DUI disqualifies you from DACA. Colorado has a lesser offense called Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). A DWAI also disqualifies you from DACA. But what if you get a deferred sentence to a DUI or DWAI? You may be able to get or keep your DACA if you have deferred sentence to a DUI.

In immigration law, ordinarily a deferred sentence is treated just like a straight conviction. But under a special DACA rule, it is treated as an expungement if you successfully complete the deferred sentence. In a deferred sentence arrangement, you plead guilty to an offense. There are things you have to do and conditions you have to meet. If you successfully complete the deferred sentence, the charge is dismissed for the purpose of Colorado law. Once you complete the deferred sentence, you may ask for DACA. The immigration service says it will look at deferred sentences on case by case basis. We have handle three of these cases and been successful each time.