Since the beginning of his immigration crackdown, President Donald Trump has assured undocumented immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status not to worry about their status — at least for the next four months.
However, despite the POTUS' promises, a 20-year-old has reportedly been in ICE detention for nearly a month.
Immigration officers allegedly arrested Felipe Abonza-Lopez, who came to the United States when he was 5 years old, as he was traveling in a car with his family members, who are undocumented immigrants, The Huffington Post's Elise Foley reports.
While Customs and Border Protection confirmed arresting a DACA recipient “in the course of a human smuggling investigation," Amy Fischer, policy director of RAICES, a Central and South Texas-based nonprofit agency that is assisting with Abonza-Lopez’s case, said there was no smuggling involved and he has not been charged with anything.
Abonza-Lopez is reportedly being held at the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas.
In a handwritten letter, which was provided to The Huffington Post by RAICES, the DACA recipient revealed how security a personnel at the detention center mock him for having a prosthetic leg. Abonza-Lopez mentioned an October incident when he complained at the medical clinic about a sharp pain in one of his legs.
"The men who were at the clinic did not know I spoke English," he wrote in the letter. "The medical guy said in English, 'This is the prosthetic guy, he doesn't need any medicine.' The guy that escorted me to the clinic started laughing and making fun of me. 'You can put a broomstick in his leg and he can sweep.’"
He said he didn't receive any assistance at the clinic, instead he was mocked by the workers there, adding he has to sleep with his leg right next to him because he is afraid someone might steal it.
Abonza-Lopez, whose DACA protections expire in May 2019, is one of the almost 800,000 young men and women, who were brought into the United States illegally as children. Under former President Barrack Obama's 2012 DACA program, these youth are granted protection from deportation and can work legally without fear of being deported.
However, in September, Trump announced his administration would end the program in six months, leaving the futures of thousands of undocumented immigrants hanging in the balance.
Thumbnail Credits: REUTERS/Stephen Yang