A Detroit man who had lived in the U.S. for nearly 30 years has been deported to Mexico.
Jorge Garcia came to the U.S. with his family when he was 10 years old and has long sought legal status. The 39-year-old landscaper was too old to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is limited to immigrants who were born after June 15, 1982.
Garcia was deported on Monday and can't return to the U.S. for a decade.
"Jorge is very devastated, he’s very sad," his wife, Cindy Garcia, said on MSNBC Tuesday. "My kids and myself are also sad. It’s a nightmare that came to life that we don’t wish upon anybody."
During his yearly check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in November, Garcia learned he'd been scheduled to be deported as part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. His wife told MSNBC's Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle that Garcia did not have a criminal record and that previous administrations had given the father of two U.S.-born citizens stays of removal.
"They said, 'Well he was brought here at 10 and that was his crime that he had committed, and because the paperwork was already in process that he had to leave the country,'" Cindy Garcia said.
A request from Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Dearborn pushed back the deportation date to allow Garcia to spend the holidays with his family. Cindy Garcia is also a U.S. citizen.
Immigrant advocates say deporting people like Garcia separates families.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls said in an email Tuesday he was looking into the matter.