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Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOvernight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Collins: I'm not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare MORE (R-Maine) says the deportation of a man protected by an Obama-era immigration program breaks with President Trump's pledge to find a deal on "Dreamers."
"I'm troubled by it. It seems to me if a child is brought here by his parents, that that child didn't really have any say in that decision to come here," Collins told Maine radio station WVOM on Wednesday.
She added that the action did not align with Trump's pledge to find a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"It does seem to contradict the president's own policy, because he too has expressed sympathy for children who were brought here and have grown up here and in some cases know no other language, know no other country," Collins said.
DACA staves off deportations and provides work permits for young people brought illegally to the U.S. as children who meet certain qualifications. They are often called "Dreamers" in reference to the related DREAM Act. Though Trump has taken a hard line on immigration, he's repeatedly signaled that he would provide leniency for DACA recipients.
“We’re gonna show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you," Trump said during a press conference in February.
USA Today reported on Tuesday that Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who came to the U.S. when he was 9, was deported after being stopped by immigration officials Feb. 17 despite having active DACA protection.
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson told USA Today that Montes's DACA status had expired in 2015, but Montes's attorneys gave the newspaper a copy of his work authorization card showing his status was valid through 2018.
Montes then tried to reenter the U.S. on Feb. 19 by climbing over a section of the existing border wall and was detained and deported a second time.
The DHS separately said that after a "detailed records search" the department determined that Montes had been approved to keep his DACA status through Jan. 25, 2018, but he lost that status when he "left the United States without advanced parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017."
The U.S. Border Patrol also has no record of Montes's initial arrest and, according to the agency, Montes didn't mention his DACA status when he was detained on Feb. 19.
Mike Lillis contributed.
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