19-year-old Iowa DREAMer murdered in Mexico 3 weeks after he was deported

ICE detains an undocumented immigrant
(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, a 19-year-old new father who was brought to the U.S. illegally at age 3, would have graduated from high school in Des Moines in May, says Rekha Basu at The Des Moines Register, but instead he was murdered with a knife to his throat while going out to eat in Zacatecas, Mexico. Cano Pacheco was granted legal residence under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said a federal immigration judge revoked his DACA status after a series of misdemeanor arrests, including speeding and drug possession.

ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer said ICE didn't technically deport Cano Pacheco, but rather escorted him across the border from Laredo, Texas, after he agreed to "voluntary departure, 'under safeguards,'" on April 24. A high school friend in Des Moines, Juan Verduzco, told Basu at Cano Pacheco's June 3 memorial service that his friend was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," out with a friend of a cousin who was apparently known to the killers. Verduzco said Cano Pacheco's life and hopes took a hit when his father was sent to prison on drug charges two or three years ago, making him the de facto breadwinner for his mother and three younger siblings.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.