Deported Mexican national wins conditional custody of his children

An illegal immigrant who was deported from theUShas succeeded in his bid to be reunited with the three sons who had been placed in foster care.

Mexican national Felipe Montes was deported from the US in October 2010, losing the custody of his children. They remained with their mother Marie in North Carolina, but she was later deemed unfit to care for them due to mental health problems. The children were then placed with a foster family.

Montes, with the help of a court-appointed attorney, petitioned the courts and has been granted custody for a trial period in the US. He will be allowed to stay with his children inNorth Carolina from 7 December and the court will review his parental performance and give its final custody ruling on 19 February.

The attorney for the office representing children in such matters, known as the guardian ad litem, had reservations about Montes being granted custody. She claimed that Montes had neglected and physically abused his children, who are currently five, three and two. But Montes’ attorney argued that the father has done his best in a difficult situation.

Montes was allowed to return to the US for the custody hearings on a temporary humanitarian visa. However, he will have to have this extended to stay in the country as it is due to expire on 23 December.

He said:

“I feel really happy. I stayed away for two years, and now come back and see my boys growing up.”

Photo of Mexican border crossing at Naco by Ian Joyce via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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