Society

Husband Of Woman Who Backed Trump Is Deported

| by Jordan Smith

The husband of an Indiana woman who publicly supported President Donald Trump's immigration policy has been deported to Mexico.

Mexican national Roberto Beristain, who was in the country illegally, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he made a routine check-in with an ICE officer in February, The Huffington Post reported.

The 43-year-old restaurant owner was deported late at night on April 4.

"They suddenly told me it was time to go," said Beristain. "They told me to get my stuff, they put me in the back of a van, and sped toward the border."

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Beristain came to the U.S. in 1998 to visit a relative but remained illegally. He was later allowed to stay on an informal basis and ICE helped him secure a work permit, driver's license and Social Security number.

Helen, Roberto's wife, backed Trump during the presidential election campaign.

"[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked," she told Indiana Public Media.

She said Roberto was nearly deported in 2000, when he accidentally crossed into Canada while on a family visit to Niagara Falls.

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A lawyer was able to secure his release, but the order issued by the judge was what ICE used to justify his detention in February this year.

"On October 5, 2000, a federal immigration judge granted him voluntary departure for a period of 60 days. When he failed to depart the United States by that time as required, his voluntary departure order reverted to a final order of removal," ICE said in a statement.

Roberto chose not to leave voluntarily in 2000 because Helen was pregnant at the time.

His attorney argues that ICE acted prematurely by deporting him and that Roberto was denied due process in 2000. A motion was filed in court arguing this position on the same day Roberto was deported.

"This was an attempt to short-circuit the justice process by intentionally removing him before a judge could stop his removal," Adam Ansari, his lawyer, said. "We were in communication with the government regarding those motions -- what they failed to mention was that they were in the process of throwing him out of the country."

Chuck Roth, director of litigation for the National Immigrant Justice Center, agreed.

"The Trump administration treats noncitizens like Roberto like lawbreakers, even when they do everything in their power to obey the law, but the law was broken in this case by the immigration authorities," he said, according to the South Bend Tribune. "ICE's actions have torn a father from his three U.S. citizen children, a husband from his citizen spouse, and a business owner from his American employees."

Sources: The Huffington Post, Indiana Public Media, South Bend Tribune / Photo credit: Tyler Lake/Indiana Public Media

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