Man from El Salvador who was deported under Trump administration in 2017 becomes US citizen

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Thursday, April 27, 2023
Man from El Salvador deported in 2017 becomes US citizen in Houston
The deportation in 2017 came after executive orders signed by former Pres. Trump called for the removal of anyone whose immigration status lapsed.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jose Escobar was deported back in 2017 after what he thought was a routine immigration check-up. He was forced to tell his family goodbye, despite having no criminal past. But on Thursday, Escobar becomes a U.S. citizen.

The video above is from a 2019 report.

ORIGINAL STORY: Houston family continues fight to bring back man deported to El Salvador

FIEL, an immigrant-led civil rights organization, made calls, consulted attorneys, and communicated with federal officials to bring Escobar back.

"We were able to bring Jose back as a permanent resident and reunited him with his family," Cesar Espinosa, the executive director of FIEL, said.

The deportation came after executive orders signed by former President Donald Trump called for the removal of anyone whose immigration status lapsed, and not just violent offenders, as the policy had been in years past.

Escobar took the final step Thursday morning at the Houston USCIS Processing Center. He was accompanied by his wife and attorney for the swearing-in ceremony for his U.S. citizenship.

"I began working with the Escobar family nearly 15 years ago when Jose had been picked up by immigration," Espinosa said. "After a long legal battle, a deportation, and a return to the U.S., the time has now come to close this chapter in this family's life, and Jose will be sworn in as a U.S. Citizen. This family has been a role model for the plight of the immigrant community."

Escobar had come to Houston from El Salvador when he was 15. He said a paperwork error caused his legal status to change.

SEE RELATED STORY: 'The fight's not over': DACA recipient home after being stranded in Mexico for more than 6 months