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Husband of killed US soldier returns to the US after deportation



The husband of a US Army soldier killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan was deported to Mexico, leaving behind his 12-year-old daughter in Arizona, the Arizona Republic newspaper reported on Monday.

Jose Carranza, 30, was deported on Wednesday, April 10, after being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, attorney Ezequiel Hernandez told the Arizona Republic.

Carranza originally came to the US from Mexico in 2004 illegally, the newspaper said. He married three years later.

Carranza’s wife, US Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, was killed in 2010. The 22-year-old was a member of a military police unit in Afghanistan when they were attacked by RPGs and IEDs.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent waits outside of the home of a suspect in San Diego, March 30, 2012.
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

The couple’s daughter, Evelyn Vieyra, reportedly lived with her grandparents after Carranza was deported.

Carranza may have been protected as part of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s “Parole in Place” policy.

The program allows widowers, parents, and children of active-service members, past and present, to stay in the US on a case-by-case basis “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

As part of the program, recipients may stay in the US in one-year increments. Citing Hernandez, who represents Carranza, the Arizona Republic’s Daniel González wrote that ICE refiled Carranza’s deportation case in 2018 and a judge ordered him out of the country in December that year.

Carranza failed to show up for the court hearing because he never received a notice to appear in court, Hernandez said. Carranza did not have a criminal record, according to Hernandez. ICE officials reportedly allowed Carranza to return to the US.

According to a 2018 study by the immigration advocacy organization American Families United, thousands of US service members could have family members who face deportation.

But the Parole in Place protections could be curtailed as part of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, according to a previous Military Times report. During the first nine months of 2018, the rejection rate of veterans’ spouses and dependents nearly doubled compared to 2016.

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