Man brought to US as child says goodbye to family after Trump administration deports him

Thirty years after moving to the United States as a child, a 39-year-old landscaper and father has been deported back to Mexico.

Jorge Garcia’s eyes welled up as he said goodbye to his two children ad his wife — all American citizens — Monday in Detroit. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers stood by, watching him closely.

The deportation marks an end to a nearly 9-year-long battle undertaken by Mr Garcia to stay in America with his family. His supports say that he doesn’t have anything close to a criminal record: He never even got a traffic ticket, they say.

Mr Garcia’s case is not one that could have been helped by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program that is aimed at helping immigrants who came to the United States and is currently in peril — he is too old for the parameters of that program — but he did see some level of mercy from the administration of President Barack Obama.

He was marked for deportation all the way back in 2009, but was able to successfully argue for stays of deportation in the years since. But, in November, President Donald Trump’s administration refused him another stay.

“I feel kind of sad,” Mr Garcia told USA Today Sunday night. “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they're probably going to have a hard time adjusting, me not being there for them for who knows how long. It's just hard.”

The Trump administration has overseen an increase in immigrant detentions in the United States, even while overall deportations have dipped since the Obama years.

But, while people aren’t being shipped out as frequently, critics have noted that federal law enforcement has been stripped of their discretion on who to target, even though official policy is to seek out undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Mr Trump is currently in talks with Congressional leadership to attempt to develop an immigration law that could help undocumented immigrants who came to the US when they were children, and had little choice in the matter. Mr Garcia had asked ICE to let him wait out that potential deal with the hopes that his circumstance would be covered by the deal, but was ultimately denied.