'A never-ending nightmare:' Local father to be deported in three weeks
PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
The clock is ticking for restaurant manager Francisco Javier Gonzalez.
Immigration officials say he has three weeks to get out of the United States, but to Gonzalez, Palm Beach county is home.
“Such a long nightmare, it’s a never-ending nightmare,” he said.
A husband and father of three, Gonzalez has been fighting for months to stay in this country, however his time may soon be up.
“It’s a very tough situation and I don’t wish this upon anyone and it’s just a difficult thing,” he said.
On Tuesday, Gonzalez went to an immigration hearing in Miramar. He expected an extension, instead he says officials took him into a backroom.
“You know once they take you in the backroom, you’re thinking you’re probably on the next plane out,” he said.
Gonzalez wasn’t deported, but he says he was ordered to leave the country by July 3 and until then, he must wear an ankle monitor.
“Makes you feel like a criminal,” he said.
Gonzalez says immigration workers told him he must buy and show them proof a one-way plane ticket to Mexico within two weeks. He came from Mexico as a teenager with what he thought was a valid visa, but he was later deported. He then re-entered the country illegally in 2001.
He’s trying to remain optimistic, but his mind keeps coming back to his three young daughters and what would happen to them if he’s deported to Mexico.
“What I do every day is try to go to work six days a week and try to give them everything, whatever they need so they can have a successful life,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez’s Lawyer, Richard Hujber, says Gonzalez deserves to plead his case to a federal judge, but it may not happen in time.
“Hopefully, I know there is a few people out there that really want to help me out and this is the time, we only have a few days,” Gonzalez said.