Helen Beristain, a supporter of President Donald Trump, had to say goodbye to her immigrant husband, Roberto Beristain, who was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on April 4 after living in the U.S. for almost 30 years (video below).
Roberto was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in February when he was checking in at an ICE office, WTHR reports.
Roberto owns a restaurant in Granger, Indiana.
Helen, who is an immigrant from Greece, was upset about Roberto's detention, but told WSBT in March that she had faith in Trump:
I think our president is going to keep all the good people here. He's not going to tear up families. I don't think he wants to do that. He just wants to keep us safe.
Something good will come out of this. All of the good people will come out. I don't think ICE is out there to just detain anybody and break families. I think at the end of the day, it's going to be OK.
Trump campaigned for over a year on the promise of deporting 3-5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
The Beristain family's lawyer Adam Ansari told CNN: "[Roberto] hadn't committed any crimes. He didn't even have a parking ticket. From everyone's accounts he is probably one of the most lovable guys you will ever meet. He is a loving husband and father. And he put a lot of work into his restaurant."
ICE reportedly deported Roberto before an immigration judge or a federal court issued a ruling on his case.
ICE issued a statement to CNN: "On April 4, 2017, officers with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed Roberto Beristain Cegueda to Mexico via Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. ERO officers turned him over to Mexican authorities at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas."
Helen told WSBT that she met Roberto, who came to the U.S. in 1988, in a restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They raised three children together.
Roberto's legal problems began in 2000 when the family missed an exit during a vacation in Niagara Falls, New York, and crossed into Canada. When the family tried to come back into the U.S., they were reportedly detained by ICE officials.
"When immigration officials picked him up at that time, they classified him incorrectly," Ansari told CNN. "If they had classified him correctly, the voluntary departure order wouldn't have been an option and he could have followed other avenues."
According to Ansari, that incorrect classification brought upon a voluntary departure order for Roberto who could not get a green card. Instead, he used a work permit and a driver's license.
"He has employment authorization," Ansari insisted. "For five years he had been voluntarily showing up at the ICE office in Florida, where his immigration attorney lives. This year when he flew down to Florida, he was sent back to Indiana. He drove to the ICE office in Indianapolis and that is where he was detained."