Houston man deported under Trump policy returns to U.S. after 2 years

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After more than two years separated from his family, Jose Escobar finally made it back to Houston Monday evening.

"I'm thanking God that I got my family back," Escobar said. "That is a lot for me."

He was deported in February 2017 after what he thought was a routine immigration check-up. He was suddenly forced to tell his family goodbye because he was being deported, despite having no criminal past.

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

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

"This has been such an emotional long journey for me, my husband, my children," Jose's wife, Rose Escobar, said.

"(I'm) happy with my family that we made it this far. I'm happy that my dad's home," their 9-year-old son Victor said.

Escobar's wife and two children are American citizens. After the deportation, Rose appealed to anyone who would listen, including Houston Rep. Al Green.

"Regardless of where our constituent is, that person still merits our help, and that can sometimes require us to go to the constituent," Green said.

Green took three trips to El Salvador to try to get Escobar home. Now, Escobar has a waiver to be in the U.S. and plans to work toward citizenship.

But his family wants to remind the public that their story isn't unique.

"We have so many others. Let's not play like we are blind," Rose said. "We know what's going on. We need you to go out there and be the voices for the other 'Escobars.' We need you to go and bring these families home."

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