Colorlines.com reports that a North Carolina man, deported in late 2010, is now in danger of losing his children. Felipe Montes and his wife, Marie, may soon lose their three children permanently if the Allegheny County child welfare department has its way. After being deported, the welfare department took the children, all of whom are U.S. citizens, from his wife. They have since been in foster care and are about to be put up for adoption.
The county’s Department of Social Services is planning to ask a judge to end efforts to reunite Montes with his kids. But, Montes has not been charged with neglect, nor has he been a bad father in the least. Take a look:
Nobody who knows Montes doubts that he is a wonderful father. For several years before his deportation, Montes worked cutting grass, cleaning gutters, splitting wood and doing whatever else his boss asked him to do. The owner of the company is one of many in the town who have only good things to say about him.
“He was a real good guy and as a worker he could do anything,” said the former employer. “He loved those kids more than anything. We’d be doing tree work and it’d be kind of dangerous and he’d say, ‘I’ll do this but if something happens you have to take care of the kids, ok?’”
According to Marie’s aunt, who is close to the family, Montes was the children’s primary caretaker. “He took care of her and the children, made sure they were clean, cared for and dressed. He did everything for those children”
Indeed, even the child welfare department, which now wants to take Montes’s children from him permanently, does not base its arguments for terminating parental rights on his character or history as a father.
After his deportation, Montes travelled to his uncle’s home in a small town in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It’s to this simple five-room house that Montes wants to bring his kids. With the support of his uncle and aunt and in the company of three young cousins, he says his children would be cared for and loved.
“I will give all that I have to my kids,” Montes said. “I married and tried to start a family. I did not imagine coming back here, but I would never abandon my kids and I want them to be with me.”
How many more families in this country need to be torn apart before Congress recognizes the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform?
Filed under: Deportation, immigrant community, Immigration and Customs Enforcement | Tagged: Allegheny County, child welfare, foster care, immigrant children, immigrant families, North Carolina | Leave a Comment »