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Iowa student killed after being deported to Mexico
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 from deportation.
President Trump 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.
"Based on his criminal convictions, his DACA status was terminated making him amenable to deportation," ICE spokesperson Shawn Neudauer said in a statement to The Hill.
Neudauer said Pacheco requested to be voluntarily deported, which would have allowed him to return legally with a visa or for another allowed visit.
Pacheco, 19, was deported back to Zacatecas, Mexico, on April 24 at the border in Laredo, Texas, under an ICE escort.
Pacheco's throat was slit, the Des Moines Register 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 leaves behind a 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."
Updated at 10:49 p.m.