An Iowa high school student was killed three weeks after he was deported from the U.S. back to Mexico, the country he left when he was 3 years old.
The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco was scheduled to graduate from high school last month but died just after being deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
His mother told the newspaper that Pacheco was once a recipient of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protected young people who were brought into the country illegally as children.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence appears to mimic Trump in viral video Senior Trump aide and key player in North Korea summit eyeing White House exit: report McConnell: Senate won’t pass bill reining in Trump’s tariff authority MORE announced his administration was ending the program last year and Congress has been scrambling to come up with a solution for the so-called Dreamers, recipients of the DACA program.
His DACA renewal, however, had not come through on time, according to his mother.
Pacheco also served jail time for driving under the influence, which apparently disqualified him from continuing to receive DACA protections, the Register reported.
According to the newspaper, an ICE spokesperson was unable to confirm exactly why he was deported.
The Hill has also reached out to ICE for comment.
Pacheco was deported back to Zacatecas, Mexico, in April. While out to dinner with an acquaintance of his cousin’s, they were both reportedly killed.
Pacheco’s throat was slit, the newspaper reported.
A friend described the murder as being at the “wrong place at the wrong time,” in a northwestern state of Mexico that is plagued by deadly violence and drug cartels.
A small memorial service was held for friends and family in Des Moines on Sunday, the Register reported.
Pacheco was described by his high school friend Juan Verduzco as being someone who was always smiling and positive.
He was going to school and working with a company that installs floors. He had recently received a scholarship to attend college in Chicago.
Pacheco also leaves behind a one-year-old son.
“I kind of don’t believe it still,” Verduzco said of his friend’s death, according to the Register. “It still hasn’t hit me… I don’t understand.”