GON­ZA­LEZ

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

hear back next week.

“We have to show ur­gency,” Hu­jber said.

Gon­za­lez’s case is ur­gent — ear­lier this month, ICE or­dered the restau­rant man­ager to re­port back Tues­day with proof of a one-way plane ticket to Mex­ico.

Af­ter years of ex­ten­sions, ICE — un­der the zero-tol­er­ance im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion — has placed more em­pha­sis on en­forc­ing Gon­za­lez’s re­moval or­der, which was is­sued in 2001 af­ter Gon­za­lez tried to en­ter the United States at the Hous­ton air­port.

Gon­za­lez had en­tered the United States a few years ear­lier af­ter ac­quir­ing what he thought was a valid visa and had re­turned to Mex­ico to visit his fam­ily af­ter grad­u­at­ing high school.

But when he tried to re-en­ter the United States in 2001, he was de­tained by im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials, told his visa was not valid, is­sued an ex­pe­dited or­der of re­moval and given a five-year ban.

But Gon­za­lez and his lawyer have said Gon­za­lez, a teenager at the time, did not un­der­stand what he was be­ing told, and Hu­jber said im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials in­tim­i­dated Gon­za­lez into sign­ing doc­u­ments and threat­ened him with jail time. Af­ter be­ing de­ported, Gon­za­lez re-en­tered the United States be­fore the five-year ban was up and moved back to his home in South Florida, work­ing as a bus­boy at Bice.

Since then, Gon­za­lez has hired at­tor­neys and re­turned to im­mi­gra­tion author­i­ties, hop­ing they could help him work out a path to stay in the United States and care for his U.S.-born wife and three young daugh­ters.

But in 2017, af­ter Trump took of­fice, Gon­za­lez and Hu­jber said they saw a change in their meet­ings with ICE. Gon­za­lez — who has a job, a valid driver’s li­cense, a So­cial Se­cu­rity card, an ap­proved mar­riage pe­ti­tion and no crim­i­nal history — was told his case was sud­denly a pri­or­ity. His meet­ings in­creased from once a year to ev­ery few months, un­til even­tu­ally he was told on June 12 he would be de­ported.

As he drove home from the ICE of­fice in Mi­ra­mar that night, the black an­kle mon­i­tor strapped to his leg, his mind raced. But one thought rose above the rest: How am I go­ing to tell the kids?

Gon­za­lez and his wife, Tara, have tried to shield their three young daugh­ters, ages 11, 8 and 6, from the truth. They want them to have as lit­tle in­ter­ac­tion with im­mi­gra­tion author­i­ties as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially af­ter an in­ci­dent months ago.

When Gon­za­lez first went to the ICE of­fice in Mi­ra­mar to meet with im­mi­gra­tion author­i­ties, he took his fam­ily with him.

At the of­fice, Tara Gon­za­lez re­mem­bers her daugh­ter watch­ing as an im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer led her hus­band away. She asked an of­fi­cer where her fa­ther was go­ing.

“Your dad is ar­rested,” Tara Gon­za­lez re­mem­bers the of­fi­cer say­ing.

Since then, they have tried to pro­tect their chil­dren from the truth, try­ing not to dis­rupt their lives.

But then Gon­za­lez came home with the an­kle bracelet, and the ques­tions be­gan.

“I didn’t want to scare them,” Gon­za­lez said, “But they’re more aware of it now.”

Ear­lier this month, ICE or­dered the restau­rant man­ager to re­port back Tues­day with proof of a one-way plane ticket to

Mex­ico.

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