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SPARTA, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina judge has ordered three U.S.-born children to be reunited with their deported Mexican father.

Social services officials in Alleghany County had sought to terminate the parental rights of Felipe Montes, who crossed the border illegally in 2003 to work on Christmas tree farms. He later married a U.S. citizen and the couple had three sons.

Federal immigration officials arrested Montes in 2010 after he was repeatedly ticketed for driving without a license, which he was barred from getting under state law. He was returned to Mexico and the boys were placed in foster care after social services officials determined his wife was unable to properly care for them on her own.

Tuesday's ruling could clear the way for the children to live with their father in Mexico.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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