Wife of man deported to Mexico after 30 years in the US to attend Trump's State of the Union speech
The wife of the man deported to Mexico after having lived in the US for 30 years is scheduled to attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech.
Cindy Garcia and the couple's two children watched her husband Jorge be escorted by immigration agents through security at the airport in Detroit, Michigan, a tearful video showed.
As the Washington Post reported, "supporters held up the family’s experience as an example of the far-reaching effects of [Mr] Trump’s sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigration".
Mr Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper in Michigan, was brought by his family as an undocumented immigrant when he was just a child.
He had been fighting for several years to obtain legal status since Ms Garcia and the two adolescent-aged children are all US citizens.
Ms Garcia told the newspaper that the first lawyer they had hired in 2005 to help the family had made an error on the paperwork, throwing Mr Garcia into the deportation process.
Since then he had been faithfully checking in with immigration authorities, never leaving the Detroit area without first getting permission.
He paid taxes regularly and received stays of deportation throughout the Obama administration.
Unfortunately for Mr Garcia he was too old by the time former President Barack Obama's administration brought about the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which allowed those who had been brought to the US as minors to remain in the country legally.
"It's like a nightmare." Tearful scene unfolds as Jorge Garcia, a father of two and 30-year resident of Detroit, is hugged by his family at the airport ahead of being deported to Mexico. https://t.co/wqtkO6Vvyc pic.twitter.com/g2gF315YaW
— ABC News (@ABC) January 16, 2018
Ms Garcia was invited to the speech, given by the President annually in front of Congress and the country, by Democratic US House of Representative member Debbie Dingell, whose district the Garcias live in.
Ms Dingell said in a statement that the Garcias' story “is both a symptom of a long-broken immigration system and a new rash immigration policy that does not recognize the difference between a hardworking family man and a criminal.”
Mr Garcia is staying with an aunt in Mexico City, but has never lived in Mexico as an adult.
He appeared via live feed on the television programme The View and said he wanted the administration to know he was not a criminal and that by deporting those like him who had been brought illegally into the US as minors “they’re only basically hurting the economy and separating families just like mine.”
“I hope that when they see me [at the State of the Union] they can connect and feel what we’re dealing with...that they have some type of compassion, if not for me than for the children who were separated from their dad,” Ms Garcia said.
The speech is set to take place on 30 January.