“Customs and Border Protection has always been above the law,” said Bryan Johnson, an immigration attorney based in Long Island, N.Y. who frequently defends children brought into the U.S. illegally.

“Democrats are going to jump on this and exploit it for all it’s worth regardless of the underlying merits, one way or another,” he said. “They might have a point, but at the same time they’re overplaying their hand. This isn’t evidence itself that Trump is going after DREAMers. Customs and Border Protection encountered him, so the original fact that he was deported outside the U.S. is not evidence of a change.”

And Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney based in Buffalo, N.Y., said Montes could have been treated even more harshly than he was.

“Based on the statistics, 52 percent of all federal criminal prosecutions under Obama were for people who did just what that individual did, coming back to the U.S. without permission after being deported,” Kolken said. “It’s likely under Obama he would have been federally criminally prosecuted for unlawful reentry and then had his previous deportation order reinstated without ever getting the chance to go before an immigration judge.”