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Victim Of San Antonio Migrant Smuggling Had Been Deported


One of the 10 immigrants who died on Sunday in that tractor-trailer in San Antonio was named Frank Fuentes. He was 19 years old. He first came to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala when he was a little boy, but he was deported a few months ago. Armando Trull of member station WAMU has more.

ARMANDO TRULL, BYLINE: Frank Fuentes arrived in America in the year 2000. He and his family settled in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., where many Central American immigrants live. The Guatemalan youth graduated from high school in 2015 and worked in construction. Fuentes was protected from deportation by DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That protection ended after he was convicted of participating in a mob assault, a typical crime that gang members engage in. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said today Fuentes was suspected of being an MS-13 gang member. In March of this year, he was deported to Guatemala. Four months later, he died trying to return. Dina Mogollon is the Guatemalan counsel for the Washington, D.C., region and met with Fuentes' parents over the weekend.

DINA MOGOLLON: (Speaking Spanish).

TRULL: She says the Fuentes were devastated over the manner in which he died, adding the parents are also fearful to speak out publicly because they're also in the country illegally and are afraid they could be deported. Fuentes' high school friends have started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral arrangements of a man they described as happy and outgoing. For NPR News, I'm Armando Trull in Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Armando Trull