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Man whose American wife died serving in combat returns to the US after ICE's illegal deportation

16 Apr 2019 Daily Mail Online

The deported husband of a U.S. veteran who died in Afghanistan was allowed to return from Mexico on Monday after ICE kicked him out of the country.

José Arturo González Carranza, 30, was arrested at gunpoint by officers from the immigration agency while he was driving to his welding job in Phoenix on the morning of April 8.

The Mexican national, whose 22-year-old American wife Barbara Vieyra was killed by insurgents during a combat mission in 2010 while serving in the U.S. Army, was told he would be deported last Wednesday.

However, Immigration officials allowed him to reenter on Monday following a public outcry. 

José Arturo González Carranza (pictured) was arrested by ICE  on April 8 and deported

Barbara Vieyra died during a combat mission while serving in the U.S. Army 

Vieyra was killed by insurgents in Afghanistan on September 18, 2010, the same day her husband celebrated his birthday. She is pictured above with their daughter

He told the Arizona Republic that he crossed into the U.S. illegally in 2004 and married Vieyra three years later. However, he failed to file a petition for permanent residency or a green card before his wife died.

Immigration officials launched deportation proceedings against him in 2017, however a judge granted his right to stay under the Parole in Place [PIP] program that is available to some undocumented family members of active or retired U.S. military personnel.

Later that year, ICE issued González Carranza a Notice to Appear that required the widower show up in court in December. He says he didn't get the notice, which led a another judge to order his deportation last week. 

It is unclear why ICE reversed their decision, but news of the deportation prompted a huge public backlash on social media.        


Shortly before returning, González Carranza blasted immigration officials for overlooking the original court ruling that allowed him to remain.

'The judge gave me an opportunity to obtain my legal documents so that I could remain inn the country,' he told Univision.  

'I never imagined that they never cared about a judge's order. They did what hey wanted to do.'  

Gonzalez Carranza has a 12-year-old daughter from his marriage with Vieyra, who lives with her grandparents.   

González Carranza (pictured) was allowed to return to the United States on Monday afternoon

While in Mexico he lived in a halfway house in Nogales, Sonora, unsure of when he would see his daughter again.  

'Whether it was an oversight, we'll never know,' González Carranza's immigration attorney, Ezequiel Hernández, told NBC affiliate KPNX

José Arturo González Carranza (left) married U.S. Army soldier Barbara Vieyra (right) but the couple never applied for his permanent residency card

'But I think the second notice to appear with the court was a mistake.' 

González Carranza and his lawyer will now push for the termination of any future deportation proceedings .

'I think her death was not worth defending this country,' he said of his wife, 'especially as President Trump is supposed to be very supportive of the soldiers.'

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