For the past five years, Gaston Cazares, an undocumented immigrant living in Carlsbad, had been routinely checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in hopes of avoiding deportation.
Cazares, who first arrived in the U.S. almost 30 years ago, is married and has two children — a daughter attending Scripps Ranch High, and a son who has autism, according to Tribune Media. He had been the family breadwinner, paid taxes and had no other criminal record. His son’s condition had allowed Cazares to obtain a stay of removal.
But when Cazares went in for his annual check-in back in April, things had changed.
The arrival of the Trump administration – which has begun imposing stricter immigration rules – meant Cazares was scheduled for deportation. Cazares’ case has gotten a lot of attention because of his family’s pleas that he be allowed to stay. It wasn’t enough, and Cazares was removed from the country last week.
Cazares had been deported once in 1998 but returned to reunite with his family.
In 2011, an investigation into the restaurant where he worked revealed to immigration authorities that Cazares was back in the United States.