José Crespo-Cagnant, a gay Mexican migrant, is being allowed to stay in the U.S. after a federal court judge decided the federal government did not consider his fears of anti-gay persecution if he is removed and repatriated back to Mexico.
“The court finds defendant’s expedited removal order was invalid,” wrote U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. “Accordingly it is ordered and adjudged that defendant’s motion to dismiss [the removal order] is granted.”
The Miami Herald reported he won the case because the government did not consider his fears of anti-gay persecution if he moved back to Mexico.
“What this means is that he is free out of any kind of criminal charges,” explained his lawyer Rebeca Sánchez-Roig. “José will get an opportunity then to adjust his status,” and stay in the United States because he has a marriage license with an American.
Crespo-Cagnant began his journey to the U.S. in 2002 when he crossed the border with a fake identity. Officials found him “inadmissable” and he “voluntarily withdrew his application.” But then in 2004, he received a visitor visa for 10 years and a year later a student visa until 2008. He then decided to apply for a Treaty NAFTA (TN) non-immigrant visa for professionals.
Crespo-Cagnant left the states, traveled back to Mexico City, and appeared at the U.S. embassy:
His application for the TN visa was rejected because his employment status did not meet requirements. Also, U.S. officials then revoked his visitor visa when they discovered his failure to report his prior attempt to enter the United States using a false identity.
Crespo-Cagnant was thus stuck in Mexico without a visa to return to the United States legally.
He came back in 2012, illegally, and was deported.
He came over again and was arrested by border guards. Crespo-Cagnant claims he told the agents he feared for his life, but the interviewing officer insists the man never mentioned it. The judge decided to believe Crespo-Cagnant, and concluded that improper procedures were used during his arrest, justifying the judge’s decision to kill the current repatriation order.