The widower of a United States soldier killed in Afghanistan is back in America after immigration officials reversed their decision to deport him when it left their 12-year-old daughter in Arizona without either parent, according to reports.
Jose Gonzalez Carranza, 30, was arrested last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (Ice).
Hernandez said his law firm tried to contact ICE for details related to why Carranza was taken back to Mexico but did not receive a response until after his office notified the press.
Hernandez said the episode seemed particularly cruel given Gonzalez Carranza's history and the death of his wife. Carranza came to the US illegally in 2004, when he was a teenager and married Barbara Vieyra. The couple's 12-year-old daughter stayed with her grandparents after her father was deported. Barbara Vieyra, who was killed on September 18, 2010, while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. When she deployed to Afghanistan with the Fort Hood-based 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, she told her sister the sacrifice of leaving Evelyn behind would be worthwhile.
"I feel so bad", Gonzalez said of his daughter, Evelyn.
Carranza was given "parole in place" status by immigration authorities after his wife was killed in 2010, Hernandez said.
After her death, her husband was granted parole in place, an exemption under USA immigration law for "urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit" for the families of service members. However, a notice for Carranza to appear in court was sent to an old address, Hernandez added.
Even though Gonzalez Carranza didn't show up for his court date, he should not have been deported. "He never thinks about what happened with the families". "As of today, we do not know why the client was removed". Gonzalez Carranza was finally arrested and deported on April 8.
The day Gonzalez was detained, Hernandez filed a motion to reopen the case, which should have prevented his client from being deported.
By Monday evening, hours after the Arizona Republic first reported on his case, ICE abruptly reversed course and returned Gonzalez to Phoenix, Hernandez said.
Carranza told the Republic that he moved to the United States from Veracruz, Mexico in 2004, and married his wife in 2007. The statement didn't mention a parole in place. He was driven to Phoenix, where immigration officials released him at the agency's headquarters, according to the newspaper.
Hernandez said the next step is to wait for an immigration hearing in Phoenix to see if a judge will reopen Carranza's case.
When ICE had him in custody last week, Carranza was told that a judge signed a deportation order because he had failed to show up at a deportation hearing in December.
A spokeswoman for Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema said her office was working with Ice and the deported man's lawyer to assist the family.