Colorado Governor Pardons Family Man, Opening Possibility He Can Return

On December 30, Governor Jared Polis pardoned Henry Cruz Moreno, a Colorado family man who was deported to Honduras in May 2019 because of an old felony conviction.

“I felt happy,” says 49-year-old Cruz Moreno, who is currently living in Honduras where his wife, Priscilla, is visiting him over the holidays. “I was hugging her. I was jumping up and down here. We were both crying.”

“The fight isn’t over,” adds Priscilla, who lives with her daughter Farah Broomandi, as well as Broomandi’s nineteen- and twelve-year-old daughters, in metro Denver, “But that’s okay. We’re going to continue. At least we have a fighting chance, whereas before we were dead in the water. We were dead in the water.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Cruz Moreno in 2019 over a past felony conviction in Arapahoe County. In 2001, Cruz Moreno, who entered the U.S. without documentation in the mid-’90s, pleaded guilty to a felony menacing charge in relation to an alcohol-fueled dispute that he had with Priscilla.

After his guilty plea, Cruz Moreno spent two and a half months in jail and then successfully completed domestic violence and drug and alcohol treatment courses.

Upon his release from jail, Cruz Moreno was detained by ICE on the grounds that he had committed a felony offense. He opted for a voluntary departure from the U.S. in September 2002, which allowed him to avoid a deportation note on his immigration file.

Priscilla and Cruz Moreno anticipated that he would only be gone for a short time and that he could apply for legal immigration status at the U.S. consulate in Honduras. But that petition was denied, so Cruz Moreno came back to the U.S. without papers.

Back in Denver, Cruz Moreno established a successful carpet-cleaning business. He also became a loving grandfather to the children of his stepdaughter. And he and Priscilla also worked on their own lives, becoming church-goers and getting a handle on their drinking.

There was always a concern that Cruz Moreno’s…

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