In 2010, Jose Gonzalez Carranza lost his wife, a U.S. Army soldier who was killed in combat in Afghanistan. For Carranza, the news was devastating. Not only did he lose a loved one, but he suddenly found himself the sole parent of a 12-year-old daughter, who is an American citizen.
Any military spouse who’s lost a loved one due to their service could tell you that the whole ordeal is immensely stressful. Carranza has had an especially stressful go. He is not an American citizen and had first entered the country illegally as a teenager. He had been granted “parole in place” in 2010, however, allowing him to stay in the country and to care for his daughter.
Under parole in place, immigrants are allowed to stay in the United States without the threat of deportation. However, ICE decided to refile a deportation case against Carranza in spite of the designation. And a notice for Carranza was sent to an old address.
Unsurprisingly, Carranza didn’t show up in court, so a judge ordered his deportation. However, the government did not revoke parole-in-place. Carranza has since been allowed to reenter to the country and is awaiting further court hearings.
The outcome of those court proceedings remain unclear and neither Carranza nor his lawyer knows why ICE filed the deportation case in the first place. After he was deported, his daughter went to live with her grandparents in the United States, who have joint custody.
The case highlights just how complicated immigration law is. While immigrants can marry American citizens and quickly receive permanent residency, this doesn’t apply for those who entered the country illegally.