Lawsuit alleges first protected DACA deportation

(CNN)-- A dispute over whether the US government deported an undocumented immigrant with protected status heated up Wednesday, as the Department of Homeland Security released further details about the case.

Lawyers for the man now in Mexico say their client was apprehended by Border Patrol and deported on February 18. DHS said Wednesday that never happened.

In a lawsuit released Tuesday, lawyers for Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez allege that the 23-year-old was deported from California to Mexico on February 18, despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Lawyers claim that Montes had renewed his DACA status, a protection for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children initiated under the Obama administration, in 2016, which would keep him protected until 2018, according to the lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The case has put in sharp focus the murky position of the Trump administration on DACA. DHS has continued issuing the permits, though Trump pledged to end the program during the 2016 campaign.

While the administration has said that it respects DACA and that no one with active status would be deported, advocates are using the case to call into question whether DHS is being honest about its position.