Houston-area man deported to Mexico, family fights ruling

Photo Courtesy: Martinez-Morales family

A Houston-area man was deported back to Mexico after he was pulled over for a broken tail light March 10 in Dickinson. Now, his family is pleading with federal immigration officials to allow him to return to the U.S.

As reported by KHOU-TV, 52-year-old Gerardo Martinez-Morales was deported to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico March 17.

The father of four and grandfather of three was on his way to a local doctor’s office when he was pulled over for a broken taillight.

During the traffic stop, deputies discovered Martinez-Morales’ license was expired, so they arrested him. He was then handed over to ICE officials.

His attorney, Raed Gonzales, is arguing that deputies had no reasonable cause to suspect Martinez-Morales was in the country illegally, so ICE should have never been involved

However, the Galveston County Sheriff said everything done was part of protocol.

“Through the booking process, a standard series of questions was being asked,” said Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset. “We asked his place of birth. He said ‘Mexico.’ Did he have a social security number? No. And other series of questions which indicates he may not be in this country legally.”

Martinez-Morales has lived in the U.S. since 1996 and is the main provider for his family. Gonzalez said Martinez-Morales pays taxes and has never been convicted of a crime.

Regardless, Trochesset said based on standard questions, deputies will contact immigration authorities if they feel like it’s someone those authorities might need or want, just like they would with any other agency.