U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday deported an undocumented immigrant who was brought to the U.S. at the age of 10 and leaves behind a wife and two children.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Jorge Garcia, who has lived in the U.S. 30 years, has been allowed to stay in the U.S. up until now because he does not have a criminal record and did not come into the country voluntarily when he was 10 years old.
But Garcia's fate changed after the Trump administration accelerated immigration enforcement.
To make matters worse, Garcia's deportation -- and saying goodbye to his family -- was slated for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?" immigration activist Erik Shelley told The Detroit Free Press. "It's another example of the tone-deafness of this administration. ... If Jorge isn't safe, no one is safe."
Garcia said that he asked ICE agents to allow him to stay until Congress can pass a so-called DACA law that would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. However, his request was denied.
"I feel kind of sad," Garcia explained as he choked up. "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 for who knows how long. It's just hard."
After years living in the U.S. for 30 years, a 39-year-old immigrant in metro Detroit was deported this morning to… https://t.co/ifz4xSmscU— Niraj Warikoo (@Niraj Warikoo)1516018982.0
"Stop Separating Families," read signs from supporters of Jorge as he prepares to board flight for Mexico in a depo… https://t.co/lcKQRTYo3y— Niraj Warikoo (@Niraj Warikoo)1516019391.0
"How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. day?" said Erik Shelley, a Detroit activist who was at the airport to… https://t.co/DMlwx0Y0yd— Niraj Warikoo (@Niraj Warikoo)1516035311.0