Roberto Beristain is a successful businessperson and respected member of his Indiana town. He’s also married and the father of three American-born children. Today, Roberto Beristain is locked up in a detention facility with hardened criminals, awaiting deportation back to Mexico.
— Mauricio García (@maurygarcia92) March 25, 2017
The Washington Post reported that Beristain illegally entered the United States after leaving Mexico in 1998. Roberto’s wife, Helen Beristain, was a staunch Trump supporter and believed that, if he became President, he would only deport “bad hombres.”
Roberto Beristain warned his wife that Trump planned to “get rid of the Mexicans,” but, according to the South Bend Tribune, his wife reassured him that the wannabe-President said he would only kick the bad hombres out of the country. And now, Helen Beristain says she regrets Trump becoming President.
“I wish I didn’t vote at all. I did it for the economy. We needed a change.”
And she has her critics. Some people are angry that she didn’t take Trump’s rhetoric seriously, thus allowing his administration to plunge the United States into what they consider to be an inhumane immigration debacle. Others have threatened the family, attacking her for providing refuge to the man she loves – a man they consider a foreigner.
— SPLC (@splcenter) March 28, 2017
And the meat in the sandwich of this fiery political clash is Roberto Beristain, and many others like him: people who have built happy and successful lives within the confines of the blurry legal boundaries in which they exist. Roberto supporters say he has a spotless record: he has never even received a parking ticket. In fact, the Mayor of the conservative community of South Bend, Indiana, where the Beristain family lives, says that Roberto Beristain is “one of its model residents.”
Unfortunately, Beristain’s spotless record wasn’t able to prevent officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement arresting him when he attended his annual meeting with them on February 6.
Because Roberto has a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and a work permit, he fully expected to return home to his family and his business, but instead, he was taken into custody. His family members and lawyers tried desperately to have him released, but to no avail.
In fact, according to the Tribune, officials have told the family that Beristain will be deported on Friday. The Tribune reported that Beristain came to the United States in 1998 to visit his aunt in California, but decided not to return to Mexico. He later married, started a family, and settled into married life in Indiana. He is also the owner of a popular restaurant known as Eddie’s Steak Shed, which employs 20 American citizens.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative said that Roberto was granted voluntary departure for a 60-day period in the year 2000, however, because he didn’t leave the country during that period his status reverted to a final order of removal. But Beristain always cooperated with ICE officials and was able to lead a normal life in Indiana, a life that included a work permit and a driver’s license.
It is interesting to note that his Social Security number says “Valid only with Department of Homeland Security Authorization.”
Jason Flora is an Indianapolis lawyer who worked on Beristain’s case. He said that, under Beristain’s previous agreement with DHS, he had an “order of supervision,” which allows immigrants with a removal order to remain in the country for humanitarian reasons, such as taking care of family members or having sole custody of children.
“Essentially, they’re saying you’re not bad enough to be deported.”
— Robert Hadow (@BestInFlightLDJ) March 27, 2017
Adam Ansari is a Chicago lawyer and the Beristain family’s spokesperson. According to Ansari, Mexican consular officials have told him that Roberto will be moved from where he’s being held in the county jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to New Orleans, where he’ll be held until he’s deported. Ansari said that the family is distraught because the whole process of Beristain’s arrest has been so inhumane.
“How do you explain this to children. Trying to explain this to children from the immigrant community has been really hard. You’re telling them that their loved one is in jail not because they did something wrong, but because of their country of origin and what they look like. This is hurting the entire community, and people are scared.”
But, Roberto Beristain’s case is certainly not the only one: there are many stories like his, whereby law-abiding parents are being deported because of their immigration status. The Twitter account “Trump Regrets” has a massive 260,000 followers by retweeting disappointed and angry Trump voters.
Beristain’s “stay of removal” filed by Flora to prevent deportation was rejected on March 15.
“Once the case is finalized and done, there’s really no reason to keep him around in their eyes. They think, ‘Why take up jail space for no reason if all the legal options have been exhausted?’ If you asked 100 people to paint you a picture of a bad guy, no one would draw anyone remotely resembling Roberto.”
According to Helen Beristain, over the past 18 years, they have had 10 attorneys trying to get U.S. citizenship for Roberto, but most said their only hope was to wait for immigration laws to change. And now the Beristains have received the worst news possible: instead of changing in their favor, the laws have now made Roberto more vulnerable to deportation.
“I understand when you’re a criminal and you do bad things, you shouldn’t be in the country. But when you’re a good citizen and you support and you help and you pay taxes and you give jobs to people, you should be able to stay. We were for Mr. Trump. We were very happy he became the President. Whatever he says, he is right. But, like he said, the good people have a chance to become citizens of the United States.”
Political Wire reported that, according to a PSB survey, 11 percent of Americans are today calling themselves “Trump Regretters,” meaning that they voted for Trump but have now changed their mind. Their key finding was that 35 percent of people surveyed say he’s side-tracked by things that aren’t important, and 35 percent say Trump is going too far.
The Huffington Post reports that many Trump voters are regretting the decision. They regret Trump is their President and they regret they’re the ones that helped put him there.
— Babs (@bdd4) March 27, 2017
Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” and “fight for forgotten Americans” is apparently already forgotten, and since his inauguration, Trump’s brought many billionaire oil and banking executives, as well as personal friends and financial donors, into his inner circle. Worse, his proposed budget slashes eliminate a range of government programs specifically designed to help the country’s most vulnerable people.
The “Trump Regretters” Twitter account has more than a quarter of a million followers, consisting of angry and disaffected Trump voters.
People who regret Trump becoming president include voters who are angry about “the wall,” voters who are angry he’s targeting the country’s most vulnerable, voters who think it’s time Trump starts acting like a president, voters who believe he’s peddling fake news, voters who are angry about TrumpCare, voters who believe he’s using his position to help the rich, and voters who wish he would just stop tweeting!
The majority of tweets are from angry, disappointed, and regretful voters who regret Trump achieving election success. Comments such as “I’m really sorry I voted for you,” “I’m so embarrassed I voted for you,” “You are not putting America first,” “You sir, are a liar and I’m sorry I voted for you,” are repeated over and over by angry people who voted for Trump and now regret their decision.
“Learn how to be a President. Stop tweeting. Get your facts straight. I voted for you and I am disappointed.”
“So tired of your BS. And to think I voted for you. Please grow up!,” and “Want fake news? Seems everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth. SAD! Sad I voted for Trump!!! Now feeling fully scammed!” are further examples of the disappointment and anger felt by people who believe they’ve been cheated.
— LawNewz (@law_newz) March 23, 2017
Then there are those people who voted for Trump believing it was time for change. “I supported you, got laughed at, spit on, called every name and for what? You BETRAYED me and supporters like me!” and “I voted for you. I hoped you really would change America but instead you made it all about yourself!”
Yahoo News reported that the number of people who regret Trump as President continues to grow.
This week a new national poll was released, showing that Trump supporters increasingly believe Trump is going too far, that when it comes to unifying their country, he’s fallen short of their expectations of him, and that he’s getting side-tracked by things that are just not important.
Of course, there are still supporters who believe the President is getting things done and keeping his promises. This week 39 percent of Trump voters felt he was surrounding himself with the best people, whereas last month it was half of his supporters. Margie Omero is Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at PSB Research, and she believes Trump may have cause for concern if support continues to fall.
“He has no crossover appeal. So, if he starts to slip with his base (as he has in our poll) where does he have room to grow? He has to hold onto his base going into the midterms. If this slide continues, he is going to have some serious trouble.”
According to Omero, Trump has mostly been operating in campaign mode since he was elected.
“If he was trying to reach out to Democrats, he wouldn’t be doing the Muslim ban, rolling back climate change efforts, or making up accusations against Obama. He’d be focused on infrastructure funding, or meeting with CEOs, and HE’D THROW AWAY HIS PHONE! He’s done very little to extend an olive branch to the people who didn’t vote for him, or to try to heal our country’s partisan divisions. People are looking for ways to take action. There may not be a vote until next November, but there’s still plenty to be done between now and then.”
Trump supporters: I regret voting for you, you’re ruining my future!
Us: WE WARNED YOU pic.twitter.com/9tdJKvQSeE
— amanda (@AmandaFiske) March 21, 2017
[Featured Image by Andrew Harrer/Getty Images]