A Mexican widower whose 12-year-old daughter was left alone when he was deported last week is back in the U.S.
Jose Gonzalez Carranza, 30, lost his wife in Afghanistan when her Army military police unit was hit with an IED in 2010. Last week he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and sent back to Nogales, Mexico, his attorney told The Arizona Republic, leaving the couple’s 12-year-old daughter without parents.
“I feel so bad,” Gonzalez said of his daughter, Evelyn. “I’m thinking about, I might never see her again.”
ICE reversed its decision because it violated an automatic stay of removal that had been issued when his attorney, Ezequiel Hernandez, filed a motion to reopen Gonzalez’s deportation case, according to The Arizona Republic.
After Gonzalez went public with his situation, his lawyer said, an ICE officer told him that they were working to allow Gonzalez back into the country.
Gonzalez was then brought back through the Nogales border crossing, taken to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) offices in Tucson. ICE officials told Hernandez that later on Monday Gonzalez would be taken back to Phoenix and released on his own recognizance, The Arizona Republic said.
Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, Evelyn’s mother, was killed in September 2010 in the Kunar Province in Afghanistan. She and Gonzalez had wed in 2007, three years after he came to the United States illegally as a teenager.
Gonzalez was supposed to be allowed to stay in the U.S. because his wife had been killed while serving, according to the Arizona Republic, but a judge ordered his deportation in December after he didn’t show up for a court hearing.
His lawyer said that Gonzalez never got the notice to appear before a judge and that the letter was delivered to the wrong address.
An ICE spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
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