The question of what should be the fate of Francisco Javier Gonzalez has made its way onto the Post’s Opinion pages.
In today’s Letters to the Editor, two local readers weigh in. But first a little background:
Gonzalez, the manager of the Pizza Al Fresco restaurant on Palm Beach’s trendy Worth Avenue, is facing the risk of deportation under President Donald Trump’s new immigration policy.
Gonzalez, who before this had routine annual check-ins, got a three-month reprieve Thursday night. He was scheduled to check in at 10 a.m. today with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Broward County. During a routine check-in earlier this year, Gonzalez was told he would have to return to the Broward County ICE office in three months for another check-in, at which point he could face deportation.
Because of where the married father of three little girls works, Gonzalez’s case has garnered a great deal of attention from some high-powered folks.
In fact, an online petition had more than 6,100 signatures on Thursday — including some of Palm Beach’s most elite socialites.
But Gonzalez’s case is a little complicated. According to the Post’s Jennifer Sorentrue, “he came to the U.S. to live with his brother when he was 15 years old using what he thought was a valid visa. After high school, he returned to Mexico to visit family members. When he came back to the U.S., he was told at the airport that his visa was not valid. He was deported and ordered not to return for a 5-year-period. Gonzalez didn’t wait. He crossed the border illegally”
And so here we are.
And here are the two letters appearing in today’s editions of the Post:
Undocumented man should have sought legal ways to become a citizen
Oh, how sad, an
undocumented, nice person is in danger of deportation. Your front page story, “Palm Beach restaurant manager could face deportation next week,” (July 8), might raise sympathy if you had asked, “Why hasn’t this person become a U.S. citizen after all these years?” There are legal avenues which might have been followed, including marriage to a legal U.S. citizen, as a start. What did Gonzalez do in 21 years other than riding his bike to avoid being caught?
TED TASK, WEST PALM BEACH
Deporting worker, tearing apart his family is wrong thing to do
I am responding to the recent stories about the possible deportation of Javier Gonzalez.
I often hear my fellow conservative friends tout the quote: “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young you have no heart, and if you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.”
This story about possibly deporting Gonzalez, a productive man married to an American citizen with three young American children is outrageous and, simply, wrong. I challenge people to reflect on the possibility that the heart and the head can work together for the sake of common sense. I don’t think this is what people intended when they voted for a president who said he would get rid us of criminals who are here illegally. Tearing apart established American families is, in a word, “heartless.”
So where do you come down on this sensitive topic?…