Local organizations to hold march for Juan Montes, deported DACA student

CALEXICO, Calif. - Local organizations in the Imperial Valley will be holding a march in support for Juan Montes, the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student who was recently deported.

The NAACP Imperial County chapter, Black Lives Matter and Imperial Valley Social Justice Coalition will be meeting on Saturday in Calexico.

The march is set to begin at 9:45 a.m. People will gather at the corner of First Street and Heffernan Avenue in Calexico and make their way to the international border fountain where speeches will be given.

 “Mr. Montes is a local student here at IVC and when this was brought to our attention the questions became, what do we need to find out that happened in his case? Why is he over in Mexico? Why isn’t he in the United States,” Exclaimed Rev. Markco King, President of The Imperial Valley NAACP.

The NAACP and other organizations have not been able to contact Montes’ family or lawyers representing him, but were able to confirm from other fellow college students that he was taking classes at Imperial Valley College.

 “The rally for justice for Juan is very important, but it’s bigger than Juan, it’s for all of the students that are protected under DACA,” said Marlene Thomas, Political Action Committee Chair of Imperial Valley NAACP.

According to USA Today, Montes suffered a brain injury as a child that left him with learning disabilities.

Organizers feel that the injury may have to do with some of the confusion in his case.

 “So if there was a mental issue that was involved in it. Come out and say so, so we can move forward and not just be hung up where we are right now,” said Rev. King.

 “A lot of people are starting to understand that immigration right and the rights of a student are one in the same, that Juan Montes really as a student has a right to learn and a part of that has to be that he shouldn't have to be stressing out about his immigration status,” said Raul Urena, elected member of Imperial County Democratic Central Committee.

 “It is important that people recognize the fact that students under DACA have protection from the federal government as signed by President Obama. We are all on this planet together as one and what hurts or affects one hurts the other, and I believe tomorrow at the rally you will see that projected,” added Thomas.

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