After 30 years of living in the United States, Detroiter Jorge Garcia was deported to his native country of Mexico on Monday.
Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper from Lincoln Park, came to the U.S. with an undocumented family member when he was 10 years old. He will be leaving behind his wife and two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.
Although Garcia has no criminal record, he is too old to qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which allows children of undocumented immigrants deportation relief periods to legally work and study in the U.S. According to the Detroit Free Press, he has been trying to find a path to citizenship since 2005, accruing $125,000 in legal costs and fees.
Garcia previously faced an order of removal from immigration courts in 2009, but was granted stays during the Obama administration. Garcia learned he'd been scheduled to be deported in November as part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. A request from Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Dearborn pushed back the deportation date to allow Garcia to spend the holidays with his family.
In a statement to WXYZ Detroit, Cindy Garcia said it could be up to 18 months before she gets a hearing with the consulate to determine whether her husband will be able to return to the U.S.
Immigrant advocates say deporting people like Garcia separates families.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls said in an email Tuesday he was looking into the matter.