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Deported Mexican dad to be reunited with US-born kids

Deported father Felipe Montes, a Mexican national, should be reunited with his three US-born children next month, a North Carolina judge said this week. The ruling brings closer to resolution a two-year legal battle that has garnered international attention.

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Felipe Montes' fight for his three children has brought international attention to the way US immigration law can separate families. A judge ruled this week that the Mexican father should be reunited with his US-born children, who are currently in foster care.

Dean Rohrer

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A North Carolina state judge ordered three U.S. born children to be reunited with their deported Mexican father yesterday, a move toward resolving a two year legal fight that has drawn international attention.

Social services officials in rural Alleghany County had sought to terminate the parental rights of Felipe Montes, who crossed the border illegally in 2003 to work on Christmas tree farms near the mountain town of Sparta. Montes later married a U.S. citizen and the couple had three sons.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Mr. Montes in 2010 after he was repeatedly ticketed for driving without a license, which he was barred from getting without a valid Social Security number under North Carolina law.

Montes was deported to Mexico and the boys were placed in state custody after social workers determined his wife, Marie Montes, was unable to properly care for them on her own. Marie Montes collects federal disability payments for a mental illness.

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