HOUSTON – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is joining the fight to bring a deported husband and father back home.
Jose Escobar, 31, was deported within the last week.
"My husband, who is not a U.S. citizen, does not have a voice. But I'll be his voice. I'll be the voice of my children," Escobar's wife, Rose Ascencio-Escobar, said.
Escobar was arrested Feb. 22 during an annual check-in with immigration enforcement officials. He said he didn't realize his mother hadn't fill out necessary paperwork to give him legal status when they came to the United States more than 15 years ago.
U.S. government officials said Escobar was ordered out of the country in 2006. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he took off and became a fugitive.
He spent seven months in federal custody in 2011 after he was arrested, his wife said. According to ICE, Escobar was released in 2012 and allowed to get ready to go back to El Salvador. His wife said he got a work permit, which allowed him to remain in the U.S. Escobar faithfully checked in with ICE agents for five years before he was arrested and deported.
Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, of Houston, called Escobar’s deportation an injustice and a part of mass deportation.
"Look at him. Manager of a paint store. Man of faith. Husband. Children. Citizen of ... Resident of Houston," Jackson Lee said.
Escobar's wife made an emotional plea during a news conference Thursday, asking the Trump administration to stop separating families.
Escobar is currently in El Salvador, where he hasn't lived since he was 14 years old.
"I am a U.S. citizen and I am being hurt by my own president. For my husband, who is in El Salvador, I will not give up. I will continue to fight. There will be victory," Ascencio-Escobar said.