MIRAMAR, Fla. – A father and manager of a small business in the U.S. illegally is fighting to stay in this country as President Donald Trump's administration continues to enforce its zero-tolerance immigration policy.
Tuesday was the last chance for Javier Gonzalez -- a married father with three young children -- to present a one-way plane ticket back to Mexico after violating a deportation order years ago.
Gonzalez, who manages a popular pizza shop in Palm Beach was supposed to report to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Miramar and present the plane ticket, but he never showed up.
His attorney told Local 10 News they decided to email the ticket to immigration officials instead as they continue to fight for the father in court.
"I don't want to hide anymore," Gonzalez said. "I want to do everything right."
After several extensions, ICE has now started to enforce Gonzalez's removal order.
"It's basically over. My kids will grow up without me," Gonzalez said. "If they made me return, I'd go back with empty hands and leave everything behind. That's why I have to continue to fight."
That fight includes filing an appeal in federal court, asking for a temporary injunction in the case.
Fearing the father would be detained on Tuesday, Gonzalez's attorney said he decided to email the plane ticket instead as they await a ruling on their case -- a decision that could forever change the fate of the family.
"He actually has a lot of faith. He's a very optimistic person," attorney Richard Hujber said.
Gonzalez's wife is a U.S. citizen, as are their three children.
The plane ticket is for a flight that leaves exactly one week from Tuesday.
Gonzalez's attorney said if a ruling does not come down in the next seven days, the family will have a very difficult decision to make.