After living in the United States for nearly three decades, 39-year-old Jorge Garcia was deported to Mexico yesterday morning, forcing him to leave his wife and kids behind. Garcia was brought to the United States from Mexico by his aunt when he was 10 years old. Since then, he’s built a life for himself as a landscaper in Lincoln Park, Michigan, and is married with two kids, ages 15 and 12. The entire family was at the airport to share the emotional goodbye.
According to Cindy, her husband of 15 years began trying to “fix his paperwork” in 2005. By doing so, however, Garcia triggered deportation proceedings. While he was able to put off deportation for years thanks to policies implemented by the Obama Administration, those policies were reversed as part of President Trump’s crackdown down on illegal immigration. On November 20, Garcia was informed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that he would need to leave the country. He was allowed to stay through the holidays but was required to expatriate no later than January 15.
“I am a U.S. citizen and it is affecting me,” said Cindy Garcia. “We tried to do things the right way and he got sent back to a country he does not know.”
Anyone familiar with Trump’s well-documented statements on illegal immigration should not be surprised that deportations increased by 30 percent in 2017. But many assumed that Trump’s policies would not target illegal immigrants who were brought to America as a child, known as Dreamers, or who had children who were U.S. citizens. However, that has proven not to be the case and Garcia is sadly one of many parents who have been forcibly separated from their families.
“Stop Separating Families,” read signs from supporters of Jorge as he prepares to board flight for Mexico in a deportation by ICE, part of crackdown by Trump administration: pic.twitter.com/Vl47minwpd
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) January 15, 2018
As of now, Garcia is resettling in a country he hasn’t lived in for almost 30 years and unsure as to how or he will see his family again next. And with Trump doing everything in his power to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created to help create a pathway to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. illegally as kids, it seems likely that even more immigrants will be targeted for deportation over the next few years.