A 19-year-old DREAMer and dad died just three weeks after ICE deported him to Mexico. Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco of Iowa was viciously murdered on the day he would have graduated from high school in the US. Learn more about his story, here.
Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco should have been walking across the stage to receive his diploma at his high school in Des Moines, Iowa. Instead, the 19-year-old died a horrific death while alone in a country that his parents fled when he was just three years old, according to the Des Moines Register. Despite being a DACA recipient, Manuel was deported to Mexico by ICE after he was stopped for speeding last fall and charged with a DUI. The father of a one-year-old son and oldest of four siblings was convicted on two misdemeanor offenses, and stripped of his DACA status. Three weeks later, Manuel was murdered in Mexico. He was out getting food with an acquaintance of his cousin in Zacatecas, Mexico, a region known for drug cartel and gang violence. The two men were murdered, Manuel’s throat slit. The killers reportedly knew the acquaintance.
In a statement from ICE public affairs officer Shawn Neudauer, he said that Manuel wasn’t technically deported; he was escorted across the border to Laredo, Texas with ICE deportation officers. Still, the impact was the same as deportation — Manuel had no choice — he was forced to go back to Mexico and leave his family behind, including his American-born baby son. He had accepted a scholarship to a college in Chicago for mechanics before being forced back to Mexico, his friend Juan Verduzco, 20, told the Register.
Our thoughts are with Manuel’s family during this difficult time.