'Pray for a miracle:' popular restaurant manager fit with ankle monitor ahead of deportation

PALM BEACH, Fla. - A local well-known restaurant manager was fitted with an ankle monitor Tuesday, ahead of deportation in early July, unless a last-minute appeal works.

Javier Gonzalez was deported back to Mexico in 2001 after he had returned to the US after visiting his parents with what he thought was a valid visa.  He was stopped at the airport.

He came back before his 5-year ban was up. What was once routine check-ins with immigration officials, turned into the removal process under the Trump Administration.

Tuesday, he was fitted with an ankle monitor. In two weeks, he must show his one-way plane ticket back to Mexico. On July 3rd, he must be gone.

“That’s when you start to think, like, is this it or are you still going to have time to fight it? You start to think (about) all these things,” he said about getting the monitor attached.

He doesn’t have a criminal record. He manages Pizza Al Fresco on Palm Beach. He is married with three kids, all US citizens, including his wife.

“Pray for a miracle now,” he said.

A change.org petition has over 100,000 signatures in support of Gonzalez to stay in Florida.

“We don’t want special treatment just because he has a huge support in the community. We just want to finally be able to be heard about something that happened over 16 years ago, when he was 19, 20- years-old and frankly didn’t know what the hell was going on,” his lawyer, Richard Hujber said about the incident at the airport.

They hope to earn a stay in federal court between now and July 3.
 

Print this article Back to Top