U.S. deports widower of fallen soldier, then brings him back

The widower of an American soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 was able to return to the U.S. after immigration authorities deported him last week. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested Jose Gonzalez Carranza, 30, while he was en route to his welding job on April 8, according to the Arizona Republic. They then deported him to Nogales in Mexico while leaving his 12-year-daughter, Evelyn, with her grandparents in Phoenix, Ariz., Gonzalez Carranza and his lawyer, Ezequiel Hernandez, told the paper. 

"I feel so bad," Gonzalez Carranza said at the time. "I might never see [my daughter] again." 

Gonzalez Carranza added that he had stayed in a shelter for deported migrants in a city that he was unfamiliar with before ICE officials abruptly reversed their decision on Monday.

Upon receiving the news, Gonzalez Carranza re-entered the U.S. through a port in Nogales, Ariz., which borders the Mexican city of the same name. Authorities picked Gonzalez Carranza up and dropped him off at the agency's headquarters in Phoenix. They did not explain the sudden decision change. 

Gonzalez Carranza said he entered the U.S. as a teenager from Veracuz, Mexico, in 2004. He married Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra three years later. In 2010, Vieyra was killed when insurgents attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade fire, the Arizona Republic notes. Gonzalez Carranza and Vieyra have one daughter together. 

Hernandez said that following Vieyra's death, Gonzalez Carranza received parole in place, which allows an undocumented immigrant to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Last year, however, ICE pushed to revoke Gonzalez Carranza's protection. A judge later ruled in favor of his deportation in December 2018. 

"There are plenty of people you can go after, but not a guy whose wife died in Afghanistan," Hernandez said.

Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick spoke out to offer her support in wake of the decision. 

"I'm relieved to now learn that Mr. Gonzalez has been allowed to re-enter the states and be reunited with his daughter, but the story of his arrest is just another example of the president's inhumane immigration policies," she said in a statement. 

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