Many people in Florida have raised concerns about deportations, especially with the escalated approach to immigration detention and deportation advocated by Trump administration officials. However, media attention may have played a role in reversing the deportation of the widower of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan. The 30-year-old man, who is the father of a 12-year-old American citizen, was deported on Apr. 8 after being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as he traveled to work. He was deported to Nogales, Mexico, on Apr. 11, according to his lawyer.
The man was married to a member of the U.S. Army who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 as part of active duty. She was 22 at the time. Since then, her parents have been raising the child, but her father has time with her on the weekends. After the sudden deportation, his lawyer contacted a U.S. senator from Arizona and issued a press release. The lawyer noted that the man had no criminal record.
The man entered the United States from Mexico in 2004 as a teenager without documentation or authorization, and he married his wife three years later. After his wife's death, he was given immigration parole and deportation proceedings against him were terminated. Proceedings were refiled against him in 2018, but he said he never heard about a hearing on the case. After his lawyer publicized the situation, the man was contacted in Mexico and his return to the U.S. was arranged.
His lawyer also noted that his case had been reopened and that a stay of deportation was already in place. In this case, legal work and public activity were important in reversing a deportation. People who are concerned about their status can consult with an immigration law attorney about how they can work to remain in the country.