The detention and cross-country transfer of a 22-year-old North Hollywood man is prompting questions from immigrant rights advocates who believe the Trump administration might be violating its recently stated policy of not deporting young immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
The case of Jesus Alonso Arreola Robles is complicated by a 10-day silence on the part of immigration authorities, followed by their disclosure Thursday that they believe Robles was trying to smuggle someone into the country.
Robles and a 17-year-old companion were taken into custody on on Feb. 12, while driving on State Route 94 in Campo, California, about a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Since then, according to officials, Arreola Robles was processed for deportation. He currently is being held in a detention facility in Folkston, Georgia, and waiting for his case to be heard before an immigration judge.
But in a press conference Thursday, Arreola Robles’ attorney, Joseph Porta, said he had not been allowed to speak to his client, and he got no response from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when he sought to locate his client’s name in the agency’s database of immigrant detainees.
“I’m an attorney. He’s in the United States. He has due process rights. He has a right to counsel. He has a right to be represented. I have a right to have access to my client,” Porta said. “I haven’t been able to get a live person on…