Jorge Garcia, a Michigan father who was brought into the United States as an immigrant at the age of 10, was forced to say goodbye to his family shortly before being deported as Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents watched. Video of the tearful farewell has gone viral on social media, prompting backlash against the current administration's policies.
According to The Washington Post, Garcia, who worked as a landscaper, came to the United States with an undocumented family member. He faced deportation in 2009, but the order was temporarily stayed by the Obama administration, which encouraged leniency towards immigrants who had come to the country as minors. Trump is currently attempting to reverse Obama's policies on immigration.
“It’s just a nightmare,” said his wife, Cindy Garcia. “You can’t even put it into words how it feels.”
Attempts at getting Jorge legal status as an American citizen or resident following his marraige to Cindy (an American Citizen) resulted in deportation proceedings. The couple regularly reported to ICE officials and were forced to seek permission when leaving their home town.
Garcia has no criminal record, as is the case with many of the people facing deportation under Trump's policies. More than 28,000 “non-criminal immigration violators” were arrested in the first seven months of Trump's presidency, which is around three times the amount apprehended during the same time period of the Obama administration.
The Obama administration had attempted to protect immigrant parents whose children resided in the country, but the policy was blocked by federal courts.
“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," said Garcia.
“I don’t see the justice in this,” AJ Freer of UAW 600 told the Detroit News. “For a man who cares deeply and supports his family, obeys the law, pays taxes and has a history of helping others, I think ICE and the federal government of the United States acted cruelly to this family.”
“His case needs to be looked at individually because he deserves to be here in a country that he’s known, not Mexico,” Cindy added, hoping the Trump administration recognizes the plight of her family. "[The laws affect] 11 million other people, but at least I can come forward and tell my story because I am a U.S. citizen and I do not have to hide in any shadows.”
ICE spokespeople have not offered a comment on the viral video.
[Photo: Screenshot from Washington Post]