The spouse of an American soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 has been readmitted into the U.S. after Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported him last week.
Jose Gonzalez Carranza arrived in the U.S. illegally in 2004 from Mexico and married in 2007 Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, who was killed at the age of 22 in Afghanistan when her unit was attacked by insurgents.
Gonzalez was arrested last Monday and was subsequently deported Wednesday, his attorney Ezequiel Hernandez told the Arizona Republic. His departure forced the couple’s 12-year-old daughter Evelyn Gonzalez Vieyra to live in Phoenix, Ariz., without any parents. Instead, she lived with her grandparents.
“I feel so bad,” Gonzalez said. “I’m thinking about, I might never see [Evelyn] again.”
Following the Arizona Republic’s reporting Monday evening, Customs and Border Protection officers allowed Gonzalez to reenter the U.S. and he was transferred to CBP offices in Tucson, Hernandez said.
According to Hernandez, an ICE officer contacted him and said the agency was making plans to permit Gonzalez reentry to the U.S. The office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. said it was involved.
“Our office is in communication with Mr. Carranza’s attorney and we will assist the Carranza family in this process,” Hannah Hurley, a spokeswoman for Sinema, said in an email to the Arizona Republic.
Gonzalez was awarded parole in place after his wife died, which permitted him to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation even though he was in the country illegally, Hernandez said. Previous deportation proceedings against Gonzalez were dismissed because of the parole in place, but ICE refiled a deportation case against Gonzalez in 2018.
A judge ordered Gonzalez be deported in December 2018 after he failed to attend a court hearing. Hernandez said his client’s absence was due to the notice being sent to the wrong address. Hernandez claims Gonzalez first became aware that a judge ordered him deported after he was arrested by ICE last week.
Although Hernandez said he filed a motion to reopen the deportation case that prompted an automatic stay of removal, Gonzalez was still sent to Nogales, Mexico. Hernandez said he is baffled by Gonzalez’s deportation given he has no criminal record.
“This guy’s wife died in action in Afghanistan,” he said.
Gonzalez was staying in a shelter in Nogales with other deported migrants after he was deported.