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