Michigan Dad Deported After Living in the U.S. for Three Decades (Video)
Jorge Garcia is many things: a father, a landscaper, a husband and a resident of the U.S. for almost three decades. What he is not, however, is a legal U.S. citizen—a fact that led the government to deport him back to Mexico on Monday, forcing him to leave his family behind in Detroit.
Video of Garcia’s heart-wrenching separation from his family went viral, as commenters pointed out the devastating irony of the deportation occurring on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday in which many Republicans responsible for harsh new immigration policies wrote hypocritical tweets about unity.
Garcia, who is too old to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, has spent years seeking a path to legal citizenship. The Detroit Free Press reports:
Jorge Garcia was brought to the U.S. by an undocumented family member when he was 10 years old. Today he has a wife and two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. He’s been trying for years to find a path to live legally in the U.S., with he and his wife spending $125,000 in legal costs and fees since 2005, says his wife.
Garcia had been facing an order of removal from immigration courts since 2009, but under the previous administration, he had been given stays of removal. But because of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, Garcia was ordered in November to return to Mexico. His supporters say he has no criminal record—not even a traffic ticket—and pays taxes every year.
“I feel kind of sad,” Garcia told the Free Press the night before his deportation. “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting. Me not being there for them.”
“It’s a nightmare,” his wife, Cindy Garcia, adds in the video above. “It’s like a funeral, but there’s no body.”
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