Maxine Waters on Undocumented Immigrants: ‘This Is Their Country’

• April 20, 2017 11:11 am


Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) told an audience on Tuesday that the United States is the country of undocumented immigrants.

Waters was speaking in Los Angeles to the Westchester-Playa Democratic Club about a number of issues, from the federal budget to how to resist President Trump's agenda, according to the group's website.

In her speech, Waters discussed young undocumented immigrants often referred to as "dreamers," who are protected from deportation by former President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order.

Waters said that the United States is their country.

"These are people who have hope. These are people who have gone to school. These are young people who want careers. These are people who are contributing to our society," Waters said. "And all of sudden, they are thought to be folks who don't deserve to be here and would be sent back to places they've never been. People they don't know. Systems they don't understand. This is their country."

Waters also brought up the inaccurate story being reported this week of the Trump administration deporting a dreamer.

"And today they arrested one of the dreamers, first dreamer," Waters said. Twenty-three years old, was brought here when he was 9 years old. Went to school, graduated, all of that. Was stopped by one of the ICE officers."

"As for his papers, they were in the car," she continued. "They wouldn't let him go to the car from where he was to get his papers. To prove who he was. Because they are supposed to have waivers as you know at this point in time. So they deported him back to a place he had not been."

USA Today reported Tuesday that 23-year-old illegal immigrant Juan Manuel Montes was deported despite being protected under DACA. The Department of Homeland Security challenged the story, claiming that Montes was arrested after he was caught entering the United States illegally.

"Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez was apprehended by the Calexico Station Border Patrol after illegally entering the U.S. by climbing over the fence in downtown Calexico," DHS said in a statement. "He was arrested by [Border Patrol] just minutes after he made his illegal entry and admitted under oath during the arrest interview that he had entered illegally."

DHS said that Montes left the country without notifying officials, which is against DACA regulations. When he reentered the country illegally, Montes terminated his DACA protections.

Montes claims that he was forced out of the country by government officials prior to being apprehended by border patrol officers. DHS says they have no record of that occurring.