Immigration authorities in the United States (US), on Monday, coincidentally, on the Birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., deported to Mexico, Jorge Garcia, 39, a landscaper from Lincoln Park, Michigan.
I never met nor knew Jorge Garcia. Press reports confirmed he was married to his wife of 15-years, Cindy and that they have two children, ages 15 and 12 - both born in the US. Apparently, Jorge entered the US at age 10 with an undocumented family member. For three-decades he made the US his home, worked, raised children and stayed out of trouble.
However, circumstances offered up Jorge to immigration officials as he tried to legalized his immigration status back in 2005, but was denied legalization and placed on a deportation list. The Barack Obama Presidency offered some hope to Jorge and his family as his deportation was stayed, while the family sought grounds and assistance to gain him legal status in the US.
Too old to qualify for an exemption to deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), created to shield from deportation hundreds of thousands of undocumented children brought into the US by relatives, since qualification mandates an individual be 31-years or younger by June 15, 2012, Jorge hoped for relief under another program - Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, but that program has been blocked by the Federal Courts.
As expected and as required as he sought a solution to his undocumented status, Jorge continued to report to immigration officials. In the meantime, Donald Trump became president. As reported by the Washington Post, in the first seven-months of Trump, immigration officials arrested 28,000 non criminal immigration violators.
Last November when Jorge reported to immigration officials, he was informed he would have to leave the US by January 15, 2018. Hopes that Congress would find a fix to conditions such as Jorge's have not materialized.
Thus, on Monday, on the Birthday of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jorge hugged his sobbing family for a final time and boarded a plane from the airport in Detroit, Michigan, bound for Mexico, a place he has not lived for 30-years.
A wife is now husbandless, and two children fatherless because of warped immigration policies that are creating family tragedies in this the land of opportunity, liberty and hope. Will America ever regain its humanitarian heart?