ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Immigration officials in the U.S. have deported the father of an Escondido boy found malnourished and chained earlier this year at a relative’s home in Mexico City.
Pascual Castro had left his son, Anthony, with his sister and her husband while he came to work in the U.S., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in June. Castro is not a U.S. citizen and while working on regularizing his immigration status was unable to travel to the Mexican capital to see his son.
Castro was deported Tuesday, passing through the San Ysidro border crossing a little before 2 p.m., according to Baja California’s El Mexicano newspaper.
Immigration officials in Mexico offered to help Castro travel to Mexico City through a program called Somos Mexicanos that helps Mexican residents who have been deported back to the country, according to Mexican media reports. But Castro apparently turned down the offer, assuring officials he could reach the capital on his own, and he instead asked officials only for help sorting out health insurance from the country’s public health care system.
Castro has denied having any knowledge about the mistreatment of Anthony, who was starving, injured and had chains wrapped around his legs when he was discovered in June. Mexican media outlets reported the youngster is still at a hospital in Mexico City receiving medical care.
The boy’s aunt and her husband were arrested on suspicion of illegal deprivation of liberty for the purpose of causing harm and face up to 60 years in prison if convicted, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
It’s unclear if Pascual Castro will now reunite with his son or what effect his deportation will have on Anthony’s living situation. The boy is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico. His mother lost custody of the boy when he was 11-months-old, but his great-grandmother, an Escondido resident, said she’s willing to care for the boy and already cares for his three siblings.
Marcela Celorio, the Mexican Consul General in San Diego, told The San Diego Union-Tribune last month that Anthony’s fate will ultimately be decided by the special prosecutor for the rights of children in Mexico City.