An illegal immigrant who had been married to a soldier killed in Afghanistan was deported back to Mexico last week, forcing him to leave his daughter behind in Arizona.
Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement brought the man back to the U.S. to be released, according to the Arizona Republic.
How did this happen?
Jose Gonzalez Carranza, 30, first came to the U.S. illegally in 2004 as a teenager. In 2007 he married Barbara Vieyra.
In 2010, Army Pfc. Vieyra was killed in Afghanistan when her unit was attacked by insurgents with an IED and grenade launchers. They have a daughter, Evelyn, who is now 12.
Carranza was granted a "parole in place" after his wife's death, which allowed him to remain in the U.S. without fear that he would be deported.
However, in 2018, ICE refiled his case, and he was ordered to be deported by a judge in December 2018 after not showing up for a hearing. Gonzalez said he never received notice of the hearing. His attorney said ICE sent notification to the wrong address.
Carranza said he found out about the deportation order last Monday when he was arrested by ICE agents on the way to his welding job. He was deported to Nogales, Mexico, a few days later and had been living in a shelter there while his daughter stayed in Arizona with her grandparents.
How did he get back to the U.S.?
Carranza's attorney, Ezequiel Hernandez, sent out a press release after his client was deported, hoping to draw attention to what he believed was an injustice.
"There are plenty of people you can go after but not a guy whose wife died in Afghanistan," Hernandez told the Arizona Republic.
Hernandez said that not long after he spoke to the Republic about the case, an ICE official called him and said the agency was bringing Carranza back to the U.S.
Customs and Border Patrol brought Carranza back into the U.S. and to their Tucson, Arizona, offices, where he would be picked up by ICE agents, brought back to his home in Phoenix, and released.
As of Monday night, ICE had not commented on the specifics of the situation or why the agency opted to bring Carranza back. A spokesperson for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) told the Republic that Sinema's office reached out to assist Carranza.