New Mexico Border Patrol arrested a man who they say has status as a “Dreamer” and who is now accused of being caught smuggling people into the U.S.
Despite the arrest, a New Mexico Latino group is continuing to defend the state’s many other Dreamers, saying the arrest shouldn’t taint people’s opinions of all other Dreamers.
The arrest was highlighted Monday by U.S. Border Patrol Public Affairs in a news release title “Two Suspects Arrested on Separate Events for Alien Smuggling and Prior Aggravated Felony Convictions.”
The release highlights two different criminal cases, but both involved so-called “Dreamers.” One of the cases involved a Dreamer in El Paso, the other took place with a Dreamer in New Mexico.
The announcement came Monday as more than one hundred people lobbied Albuquerque city councilors asking for support toward a resolution declaring Albuquerque an “immigrant-friendly city.”
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, on Monday, March 19, a man driving a vehicle near Rodeo, New Mexico, was pulled over due to “the suspicious nature of the vehicle.”
Rodeo is in the New Mexico boot heel, southwest of Lordsburg along Highway 70, near the Arizona border.
Investigators say a man who has status as a Dreamer was behind the wheel. According to the release, the man admitted knowing that three passengers in his car were undocumented individuals. The passengers also admitted, to “having entered the country illegally.”
According to the news release, the driver also admitted he “would receive payment for transporting” the passengers.
All four people were arrested and taken to the Lordsburg Border Patrol station.
The U.S. Border Patrol did not release the name of the driver with DACA or Dreamer status. They also did not identify where the man was living.
Hearing news of the Dreamer’s arrest in New Mexico, Latino advocate Ralph Arellanes feels the Border Patrol’s arrest announcement is overtly political.
“I think it’s very unfortunate and very unfair to put out a press release like that,” said Arellanes, who’s the executive director of LULAC or “League of United Latin American Citizens.”
“It right away slams the door on all DACA students,” said Arellanes.
Arellanes emphasizes that not at DACA recipients are problematic.
“Just because one or two people, isolated incidents, again doesn’t mean that the entire, all DACA students are doing a bad thing,” said Arellanes.
Like many others supporting immigrants, Arellanes is hoping that lawmakers will address the program’s future soon.
“Over 85-percent of Americans want a permanent solution for DACA students,” said Arellanes.
President Trump originally set a March 5, 2018 deadline for lawmakers to deal with the so-called DREAM Act. Since that date has passed there’s no word on what’s next for the program or the people in it.
Around 7,000 Dreamers are said to be living in New Mexico, or less than one percent of the 800,000 Dreamers nationwide.