Felipe Bautista Montes is an immigrant who was deported to Mexico, but has been granted humanitarian permission to enter the US again in order to take part in his custody battle to see his children. Montes is fighting to keep custody of his three children and has been granted permission to remain in the US for 90 days in order to take care of his legal handle.
Mexico’s general consul for the Carolinas, Carlos Flores Vizcarra, has stated that Montes` case is unique in that individuals who are deported from the US are rarely allowed to return for a legal case. In fact, Vizcarra has stated that he has not seen a similar case in the past 11 years.
Montes’ presence will help him with his custody case according to Montes’ attorney Donna Shumate. Montes has reportedly already met with Marie, his wife, and remains hopeful that he will soon be able to see his children.
In 2010, Montes, Marie, and their children were living in the US and Montes was the main provider in the family. Montes was in the country undocumented but Marie was a US citizen. Montes was unable to get a drivers’ license because he was undocumented, but he continued to drive in order to go to work. In 2010, he had been arrested several times because he did not have a license and continued to drive. Montes continued to pay his fines when arrested but in 2010 when he went to court to pay his fines for driving without a license, two agents from the ICE met him and arrested him. Montes was transferred to a Georgia detention facility. By December 2010, when Marie was expecting another child, Montes was deported to Mexico.
Marie, who is ill and unable to work, lost custody of the three children soon after Montes was deported. The three children were placed in foster homes by the Division of Social Services. The Division of Social Services in North Carolina claims that the children are better off in the US, since they are US citizens. The agency also believes that the children are better off in the custody of people other than their parents. The foster families where the children are placed now hope to adopt the children. Montes has an extended family in Mexico and a family home there, and has stated that he hopes to raise the children there, with their own family.
According to a report by Applied Research, Montes’ situation is not unique. According to the report, there are more than 5000 children in foster homes after their undocumented immigrant parents are arrested or deported.