The Slatest

ICE Reportedly Deported Spouse of Army Solider Killed in Afghanistan, Leaving Their Daughter Parentless

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers check the IDs of pedestrians crossing into the United States on Nov. 19, 2018.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers check the IDs of pedestrians crossing into the United States on Nov. 19, 2018.
John Moore/Getty Images

The spouse of an American soldier killed in action in Afghanistan was arrested by ICE on the way to his job and deported last week despite being the father of a 12-year-old daughter who is an American citizen, the Arizona Republic reported Monday. The story is as horrific as it is familiar under the Trump administration, and the reported details are a reminder of the arbitrary and callous administration of the country’s immigration laws.

Jose Gonzalez Carranza, now 30, came to the U.S. illegally as a teenager. He later married Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra and had a daughter Evelyn . Vieyra was 22 years old when she was killed in 2010 while serving in the Army in Afghanistan. After her death, Gonzalez was granted what’s called parole in place, allowing him to stay in the country. Given his protected status, and lack of a criminal record, a judge later ended deportation proceedings against Gonzalez.

In 2018, however, the Trump administration reopened the case and ordered a court hearing. But Gonzalez didn’t show for the court date because, he says, he never got the notice that ICE sent to the wrong address. The missed court appearance prompted a judge, in December, to order Gonzalez to be deported, but again he didn’t receive news of the order to dispute or correct it until ICE showed up at his door last Monday. By then it was too late and two days later Gonzalez was deported to Nogales, Mexico and living in a shelter for deported migrants. “I feel so bad,” Gonzalez said of being taken away from his daughter. “I’m thinking about, I might never see her again.”

Making matters worse, his lawyer said Gonzalez filed a motion to reopen the deportation case after his arrest, which should have meant an automatic stay to his deportation proceeding. But ICE deported him anyway. “After speaking to The Arizona Republic, [the lawyer] said he received a call from an ICE officer who told him the agency was making arrangements to allow Gonzalez back into the U.S.,” the paper reported.