DACA Recipients Detained at Texas Immigration Checkpoint

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Nine recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative — which grants temporary deportation relief and work authorization to people brought to the country as children — were detained for hours on Monday at an immigration checkpoint in Texas to verify their paperwork, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson. The detention comes one week after the Trump administration announced the end of the DACA program.

Media outlets reported Monday that immigrants were being detained upwards of eight hours at an immigration checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, roughly 85 miles from the southern U.S. border. At least one 28-year-old DACA recipient was detained while traveling with two U.S. citizens to Corpus Christi for work, his attorney Elba Rocha said. The two citizens were released, but CBP agents checked Rocha’s client’s valid DACA status, including running a background check. The other individuals were released by the time the local publication The Monitor updated its post at 7:30 p.m. local time. According to the Huffington Post, a relative of a detained DACA recipient said the individuals could be transferred to a detention center before being released.

“USBP agents encountered nine individuals at the immigration checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Rod Kis told ThinkProgress in an email sent Monday evening at 7:59 p.m. “The individuals claimed to be enrolled in DACA. Agents validated their claims by reviewing and verifying their documents. The individuals were then released to proceed with their journey, consistent with established policies and procedures.”

Last week, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency changed its DACA policy page to reflect that it would no longer accept new applicants as of September 5. The webpage encouraged current recipients to renew their work authorization cards if they expire before March 5, 2018. The website also indicated that it would “no longer approve advance parole requests associated with DACA,” meaning recipients who were once allowed to travel out of the country with the government’s explicit approval can no longer do so.

By Esther Yu Shi Lee for THINKPROGRESS
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