SPARTA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has restored custody of three U.S.-born children to their deported Mexican father.
Social services officials in 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. He later married a U.S. citizen and the couple had three sons.
Federal immigration officials arrested Montes in 2010 after he was repeatedly ticketed for driving without a license, which he was barred from getting under state law. He was sent back to Mexico and the boys were placed in foster care after social services officials determined his wife was unable to properly care for them on her own.
Tuesday's ruling could clear the way for the children to live with their father in Mexico.