HOUSTON, TX (July 1, 2019) – On July 1, 2019, Congressman Al Green returned to Houston with his repatriated constituent Jose Escobar and his family. Congressman Green fought tirelessly for two years to reunite Jose with his family by advocating for him in Congress as well as through his visits to El Salvador.
Mr. Escobar came to the United States when he was 15 years old. He worked, married, became a father and contributed to American society. However, he was deported to El Salvador in 2017 and given a 10-year ban from re-entering the United States. Congressman Green took up his case and worked in both the United States and in El Salvador for Mr. Escobar’s return. Today that hard work has paid off and Mr. Escobar is now home to continue life in the United States with his wife and their two children.
“On Thursday, June 6, 2019, I had the bittersweet opportunity of visiting my constituent Jose Escobar in El Salvador for the second time,” said Congressman Green. “It was bittersweet because Mr. Escobar should have been at home in Houston with his family, not separated from them in a country he left 18 years ago.
“Jose Escobar came to the United States in 2001 and registered for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to an earthquake that hit El Salvador that same year. For numerous years, he was a law-abiding resident who was complying with his Order of Supervision; yet, after reporting to federal immigration offices in Houston, he was detained and deported to El Salvador. Since 2017, Mr. Escobar has been living in El Salvador away from his family. His U.S. native wife Rose Escobar remained in Houston trying to be strong for their children, who would constantly ask her when their father would be back home – to which she typically responded ‘soon.’ I felt it necessary to travel to El Salvador three times for my constituent and intervene to help reunite Jose with his family. Mr. Escobar’s ban from the United States for 10 years would have denied him the opportunity to rear his children. His son Walter would be an adult and his daughter Carmen would be a teenager upon his return after 10 years.
“Today, I am proud and honored to witness this family’s dream become a reality,” declared Congressman Green. “I must thank U.S. Embassy officials in San Salvador, the lawyers for the Escobars, the media, and the activist community for their assistance, as well as every person and entity that aided the Escobar family and me. I am grateful that this day is finally here.
“While, Mr. Escobar has now been afforded the opportunity to rejoin his family, there is still work to be done to reunite the other ‘Escobars’ of our country. Therefore, I am proud to announce that on January 3, 2019 I re-introduced H.R. 168 – the Reentry and Reunification Act. This bill aims to reunite deserving families by providing a verified pathway to U.S. citizenship for individuals who have no criminal history, who were deported, and who have a spouse or children who are currently U.S. citizens. This bill would also provide lawful permanent resident status to previously removed non-U.S. citizen individuals who are the parents and/or spouses of U.S. citizens. Let us continue to work to ensure that families like the Escobars can no longer be separated.”