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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump once helped fill his Palm Beach restaurant; now he faces deportation

Francisco Javier Gonzalez and family

Francisco Javier Gonzalez and family



In wealthy community that grumbled about having President Trump around every weekend, Francisco Javier Gonzalez saw the positive.

"For us, it's been great," the general manager at Pizza al Fresco on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, not far from Mar-a-Lago, told the Tampa Bay Times in April. "People really want to come to Palm Beach to see the scene."

But today, Gonzalez faces deportation under Trump.

As the Palm Beach Post reports, Gonzalez came to the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager on what he thought was a valid visa. After a trip home he was detained and deported but crossed back in the U.S. illegally.

He built a career and a family and is well regarded in Palm Beach.

Gonzalez was granted a stay under the Obama administration but Trump has made aggressive enforcement of immigration law a priority and Friday, Gonzalez is due to check in Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Broward County.

“Francisco Javier Gonzalez was removed from the country on December 14, 2001 and subsequently re-entered the country illegally,” ICE told the Post. “As Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

As of Monday night, more than 5,350 people had signed an online petition attempting to stop the deportation.

“Francisco speaks perfect English and has NO CRIMINAL HISTORY IN THE US or any other country in the world,” it reads. “He obtained his education, works hard, pays his taxes and lives an exemplary life abiding by all US laws.  Francisco has never been back to his native country Mexico since his last arrival in January of 2002. He has made the United States of America his home and is now a loving husband and father to three (3) beautiful daughters in Florida.”

[Last modified: Monday, July 10, 2017 11:31pm]


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