Appeals Court Throws Out Deportation Order for Man Detained by ICE After Dropping Daughter Off at School

An immigration appeals court this week threw out the final deportation order for Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, who was detained in late February minutes after he dropped his daughter off at school in Lincoln Heights.

Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez is shown in an undated photo at the ICE detention facility in Adelanto, Calif. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez is shown in an undated photo at the ICE detention facility in Adelanto, Calif. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

His lawyer said the case will be kicked back to the local immigration court that initially ordered that he be deported. That means Avelica-Gonzalez, 49, is still in deportation proceedings, but it could take years for a judge to enter a new decision.

An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency can no longer comment on Avelica-Gonzalez’s case because of his pending U visa application.

Avelica-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen, has lived in the United States for 25 years. ICE agents arrested him Feb. 28, minutes after he dropped off his daughter Yuleni, 12, at school. Another daughter, Fatima, now 14, sobbed as she recorded cellphone video of the encounter, which went viral.

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