Two Dreamers who were living in the U.S. under the Obama-era DACA program were arrested last week on suspicion of human smuggling in separate incidents, federal officials reportedly said.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that one of the men was in the country under the program and the other’s program had expired.
The first instance happened Wednesday near Torrey Pines State Beach.
Border agents were sent to the area after a resident spotted what appeared to be smuggling, federal officials said. Further investigation led agents to a vehicle suspected of being involved, which they pulled over on Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Road about 12:10 p.m.
Three men were inside: the driver, a 20-year-old DACA recipient whose status had expired, and two Mexican nationals, ages 21 and 22, suspected of being in the country illegally.
Federal officials said the driver and his cousin, the 22-year-old passenger, told agents they had been involved in human smuggling in the area. The driver is in federal custody.
The second incident happened about 8 a.m. Thursday. Border Patrol agents in East County had just arrested two people accused of being in the country illegally when they spotted two suspicious vehicles on Buckman Springs Road in Campo.
The agents followed one of the vehicles — a blue Honda sedan — and conducted an immigration inspection at a nearby checkpoint.
The driver — a 22-year-old Mexican national who lived in Riverside County as a DACA recipient — ultimately told agents that he and another driver were scouting the area to aid a group of smugglers, federal officials said.
The agents also learned the man had committed other acts of human smuggling, according to federal officials. The suspect, who was not identified, is in Department of Homeland Security custody awaiting removal proceedings. Agents later arrested another man, a 25-year-old United States citizen, who was also suspected in the smuggling scheme.
Both suspects are in custody.
The arrests come while Congressional lawmakers try to write legislation to give the so-called Dreamers legal status. DACA has protected about 1,800,000 people, many of them college-age students.
In another recent crime that could have been prevented, a DACA recipient was arrested for multiple accounts of sodomizing young boys between the age of 7-9.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 30th, 2018