I've been reporting on immigration and removals over the past six months and had been following Melecio Morales' case. It was higher profile than most: several members of Congress had written letters on his behalf, his oldest daughter — who is attending Yale University — had started a Go Fund Me for her dad and pushed a high-profile social media campaign calling for his release.
On Dec. 15, 2017, Melecio Morales was removed from the country.
Morales was deported in the 1990s but re-entered the U.S. in 1997. He's been working construction and living here ever since. He didn't have a criminal record and had four American born daughters, as well as an elderly mother he was supporting, who is a legal citizen. Federal authorities contend that Morales committed a felony by re-entering the United States after being deported the first time.
Construction worker Melecio Andazola Morales was deported this week -- he had four American born daughters, including one at Yale, and no criminal record. ICE says he committed a felony by re-entering the US in 1990s after being deported then.— Allison Sherry (@allisonsherry) December 19, 2017
His lawyer and I were texting Monday and he told me Morales was deported. I wrote up a short item for the next day’s news and tweeted it out when I saw an immigrant rights group was shaming federal officials for the timing of the deportation before the holidays. My tweet went viral thanks, in part, to a retweet by Chris Hayes, a widely read liberal commentator and host on MSNBC.
That kind of attention brings commentary from all sides, including a few emails. It’s a good window into the debate immigration, enforcement and deportation has become in the first year of the Trump administration.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!