ICE Deports Husband of Fallen Soldier, Then Reverses Decision

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reversed a decision to deport the husband of an American soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2010. ICE arrested and deported Jose Gonzalez Carranza to Mexico on April 11 — leaving behind his 12-year-old daughter, who is a US citizen, The Arizona Republic first reported. On Monday, he returned to the US after ICE reversed its deportation decision, Ezequiel Hernandez, Gonzalez Carranza’s attorney, told the publication.

In a statement to The North Star, ICE confirmed that Gonzalez Carranza was deported and allowed to reenter the US on Monday, April 15 pending adjudication of his immigration proceedings. “An immigration judge with [the Executive Office for Immigration Review] will determine if proceedings should be reopened, and whether Gonzalez Carranza has legal basis to remain in the United States,” a spokesperson for ICE wrote.

Gonzalez Carranza, 30, was married to Army Private First Class Barbara Vieyra, who was killed in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan, The Arizona Republic reported. Hernandez told the publication he received a call from an ICE officer who said that the agency was arranging Gonzalez Carranza to return to Phoenix, Arizona.

The single father came to the US illegally as a teenager in 2004 and married Vieyra in 2007, according to The Arizona Republic. His immigration case was reopened last year and he failed to show up to a December court hearing, according to the publication. Hernandez told the newspaper ICE sent the wrong notice to his house, which led to a federal judge to order his deportation. Hernandez said that Gonzalez Carranza has no criminal record. Gonzalez Carranza said he had no idea about the deportation order until ICE officers showed up to his house and arrested him, the newspaper reported.

Gonzalez Carranza’s daughter lives with her grandparents. He told The Arizona Republic that he did not tell her he was being deported. "I feel so bad," Gonzalez Carranza told the newspaper. "I'm thinking about, I might never see her again." Hernandez told the outlet he believes the decision was reversed because of media attention. "There are plenty of people you can go after but not a guy whose wife died in Afghanistan."

Last year, ICE deported the wife of a veteran for crossing the border illegally in 1998, The Military Times reported. Alejandra Juarez married former Marine Sergeant Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Juarez two years after she came to the US and had two daughters together, according to the publication. The mother of two reportedly does not have a criminal record other than entering the country illegally. Juarez was deported in August despite the efforts of her attorney and lawmakers, Stars and Stripes previously reported.

In March, the Trump administration said it had deported 471 migrant parents without being reunited with or waiving their choice to reunite with their detained children, CNN previously reported. The number was revealed during a court filing in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of a migrant woman who was separated from her daughter and seeking asylum in the country, according to the outlet.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump falsely accused former President Barack Obama of implementing a policy that separated migrant children from their parents and said Obama had built them "cages,” CBS News noted.

"Just so you understand, President Obama separated the children," Trump said. "Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama's administration, not by Trump." "President Obama separated children, they had child separation, I was the one that changed it," he added.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.