This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Guatemalan man who lost his son to cancer and was facing deportation after being arrested for allegedly using false documents has been freed from the Utah County Jail without having to post bail, his attorney said Thursday.
Barbara Melendez, a Salt Lake City-based immigration attorney who is defending Rogelio Melgar, said when her client arrived at his family's Orem apartment Wednesday, it was "a joyful and tear-filled reunion."
Melgar, 39, came to the United States on a tourist visa in 1999 so his 4-year-old son could receive treatment sponsored by a charitable foundation for throat cancer.
But Melgar, along with his wife, Maribel, saw their visas eventually expire while Brayan Melgar continued to be seen by doctors. Their son, who became a popular student at Timpanogos High, died in May at age 17. The mother believes he lived that long only because of the treatment he got in Utah.
During those years, Rogelio Melgar worked to support the family. His wife stayed at home with the children two twin daughters and a 4-year-old son, who are U.S. citizens, and 16-year-old Hans Melgar, along with Brayan.
It's unclear when the father allegedly began using a false Social Security number to obtain employment at a care center in American Fork. He was arrested July 11 and accused of having false documents.
But state prosecutors in Provo's 4th District Court did not file charges when he appeared in court Tuesday.
Melgar remained behind bars until Wednesday on a U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement hold.
ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said she was unable to confirm or deny any ongoing investigation or to speculate on how the case might proceed.
Melendez said Rogelio Melgar will be required to check in with ICE periodically while awaiting the next phase in the process, which would likely include a deportation hearing in immigration court.