Wednesday, April 17, 2019

ICEcapades

The widower of a soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan was deported to Mexico, then returned when the media coverage hit the fan.

Immigration officials last week deported the spouse of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2010, leaving the couple’s 12-year-daughter in Phoenix, then abruptly reversed its decision on Monday when the deported man was allowed to return to the U.S.

Jose Gonzalez Carranza, 30, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers last Monday on his way to his welding job and then deported to Nogales, Sonora, early Thursday morning, according to Gonzalez Carranza and his attorney, Ezequiel Hernandez.

Gonzalez Carranza was married to Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, who was killed on Sept. 18, 2010, while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. She was 22.

During an interview, Gonzalez Carranza told The Arizona Republic he was allowed to re-enter the U.S. through the DeConcini port of entry in Nogales, Arizona Monday afternoon.

He said he was then driven back to Phoenix where ICE officials dropped him off at the agency’s headquarters near downtown.

ICE officials offered no explanation for the decision to allow Gonzalez Carranza to return to the U.S. But Hernandez believes the reversal was triggered by media attention the deportation received.

That’s good for Mr. Gonzalez Carranza, but the deportations and family separations are still going on and not every one of them makes it on the nightly news.