Miguel Aparicio, a former Phoenix high school coach whose deportation to Mexico sparked a national outcry, says he has been struggling with his life since leaving Arizona.
“I feel so depressed,” Aparicio recently told The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. “Sometimes when I’m dreaming, I wake up in the middle of the night and I think I’m in Phoenix. But then I look around and I realize, no, I’m not.”
The former high school cross-country coach's story unfolded last summer when his deportation came on the day the Obama administration made a policy change that would allow thousands of undocumented residents like Aparicio to remain in the country.
In June, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's director John Morton announced that prosecutors and immigration agents would consider a defendant's history and community ties when deciding whether to press for deportation.
Aparicio's lawyer, Jose Luis Peñalosa, was quick to jump on the policy change, filing a motion on his client's behalf. But, it came too late and failed to win the man's stay of deportation, the Arizona Republic reported.
Aparicio has been described in local news outlets as a coach who contributed a great deal of success and good to Phoenix-area schools, despite being an undocumented worker and having a DUI on his record.
These days, Aparicio spends his days tending 26 sheep on his family's farm in Guanajuato. He's also dreaming of his return to America, according to the newspaper.
"I am just waiting to see if they change something about immigration," he told the Arizona Republic. "I am just hoping because I do not feel like the ICE officers were really fair with me. They just looked at the negative stuff. They did not look at the positive stuff. And I have a lot. I know for sure that one day I will be back."
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