Roberto Beristain, a Mexican who has lived in the United States for nearly 20 years, was arrested on February 6, 2017, by U.S. immigration officials and was scheduled to be deported soon. Now, his wife Helen who voted for Donald Trump, is upset because she trusted the president’s immigration policies and was under the assumption that only “killers” and cartel members would be deported, the Independent reports.
“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen told the South Bend Tribune. “I wish I didn’t vote at all. I did it for the economy. We needed a change.”
Indiana woman voted for Trump. Now her husband is being deported. https://t.co/VOc1t5LRFq
— deray mckesson (@deray) March 24, 2017
Roberto’s arrest occurred when he, along with his wife and kids, traveled to Indianapolis for his annual appointment with ICE officials to prove his stay in the U.S. The arrest was due to a previous deportation order that stemmed from 2000, New York Daily News wrote.
According to Beristain’s stepson, the family was confronted while on vacation by border patrol agents after they inadvertently took a wrong turn and arrived at the Canadian border. His wife was waiting for him in the car when an agent informed her that he was being taken into custody. He tried to come back into the U.S., but officials denied him entry and placed a deportation order on the 43-year-old man. In reviewing Beristain’s documents, officials detected the illegal situation of the Mexican.
Since the incident, Beristain has obtained a work permit, driver’s license and even a Social Security number to allow him to continue to work in the U.S. Until this year, everything was going well until the change of immigration policies promoted by President Donald Trump.
As mentioned above, Helen Beristain believed that President Trump would deport immigrants who have committed criminal acts against the United States, as well as help undocumented immigrants who benefit their country.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) September 3, 2016
Protesters gather against Mexican woman’s deportation https://t.co/nJid37Q4BA
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 9, 2017
Beristain, who owns a restaurant in Indiana, has received support from his town’s residents as well as others who have heard his story. One such person is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who spoke highly of Roberto in an article he wrote for The Huffington Post. In the article, Buttigieg said that “tearing apart a community, a business, and a family will make America worse off, every time.”
“Meeting with his family and friends at his business, Eddie’s Steak Shed, in the town of Granger, I am struck by many things: the tenderness of his wife’s love for him, the innocence of his four American children (especially the teenage daughters who are now being taunted at school over his case), the loyalty of his 20 employees, and the pride and affection of his gathered friends and acquaintances as they rally to show their support.
But most striking of all is how many of the people now sticking up for Roberto are politically conservative. These are small-town Indiana residents, veterans and grandparents who come to his restaurant after Mass or Rotary. They vigorously defend him as a man they are proud to call a friend. And the more I think about it, the more clearly it is consistent with their conservative values that they stand up for Roberto.”
Buttigieg has asked ICE to allow Beristain to stay in the U.S. while he resolves his citizen status. In a petition at Change.org, Roberto Beristain was described as being an outstanding, hardworking individual who deserves to be an American Citizen.
The most unusual thing about this story is that Roberto Beristain had temporary and renewable permits from the Department of Homeland Security that allowed him to open a business and manage it. He was issued a Social Security number marked “Valid only with Department of Homeland Security authorization” through his work with ICE agents. He arrived in the U.S. in 1998 and instead of crossing the desert, he traveled with the necessary documents in order to visit an aunt in California — only he did not return to Mexico.
[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]