Detroit, Michigan (WXYZ) — A family is torn apart after a man is deported, after living in Michigan for the past 30 years.
Jorge Garcia came to the United States illegally with his parents when he was 10 years old. He’s now 39. He arrived one year before he could qualify under DACA. He has a wife and two children who are United States citizens.
Monday morning, the Garcia family had a family friend drive them to the airport, where they had been told Jorge would be deported.
Cindy Garcia said the moment didn’t feel real until the ICE agents stepped up to take him.
“That’s when the tears just started flowing, because we knew that was going to be it wasn’t much that we could do,” said Cindy Garcia.
Cindy said she and her husband have been working since 2005 to help Jorge become a legal citizen.
He’s regularly checked in with ICE agents and filed extensions.
“In total we’ve given immigration over $125,000,” said Cindy Garcia.
Cindy said some bad legal help set them back and they’ve never had a clear path to citizenship for Jorge. Which means they’ve been checking in for years, hoping to find a solution. “We’ve never done anything without the permission from immigration because anytime we leave the city you have to tell them where you are going,” said Cindy Garcia.
The last time the family checked in with immigration agents in November, they told them Jorge would have to leave on January 15th.
Cindy said agents said because Jorge doesn’t have a criminal record, he could stay through the Christmas holiday.
Cindy said, 12-year-old Jorge Jr. and 15-year-old Soleil are devastated.
“It’s a nightmare, they’re sad, they’re depressed, they don’t really comprehend everything that’s going on, all they know is their dad is gone and they don’t know when they’re going to see him again,” said Cindy Garcia.
Cindy said she is working on getting Jorge back to the U.S. but it’s going to be at least 18 months until she get a hearing with the consulate.
7 Action News contacted the local immigration office on Monday, but they were unable to comment on Garcia’s case.