South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose city is in the same county as Granger, calls Roberto Beristain a “model resident” pic.twitter.com/tc3lUvFven— Mark I Williams M.D. (@CameraGuyBakoCA) March 23, 2017
UPDATE: Roberto Beristain, who visited the United States in the 1990s and then remained and built a life for himself, was deported in the dead of night Tuesday before a judge could even issue a ruling on his case.
Despite having documentation that allowed him to work, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided to carry out the deportation orders without notifying Beristain's lawyers.
Beristain’s attorney, Adam Ansari, said in a statement that "[t]his was an attempt to short-circuit the justice process by intentionally removing him before a judge could stop his removal."
According to Ansari, the immigrant's attorneys were communicating with the government and yet, "they failed to mention ... that they were in the process of throwing him out of the country."
Ansari and the rest of Beristain's legal team filed a habeas corpus petition for unjust detention after his removal, which they are calling "improper."
President Donald Trump swore during his campaign run that he would deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants once he assumed office. So it’s pretty surprising that some people who themselves were undocumented immigrants or had family members who came to the country illegally would vote for him.
But they did. And now one woman is regretting her decision.
Roberto Beristain, a resident of Granger, Indiana, and owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed restaurant, entered the United States illegally almost two decades ago and is set to be deported Friday — despite the fact that he is a “model citizen” and his wife, Helen, voted for Trump.
Beristain, 43, was able to seek a green card, a Social Security card and obtain a work permit and driver’s license. He paid his taxes regularly, did not even have a single traffic ticket to his name and checked in regularly with the ICE. But, this year, during his annual check-in, the ICE detained him unexpectedly and he was faced with a deportation order — despite the fact that the agency knew of his undocumented status for over a decade and did nothing about it.
@realDonaldTrump my father, Roberto Beristain went to renew his work permit and they have detained him. A man with no criminal history.— Phil Kolliopoulos (@pgkollio) February 7, 2017
The man is now held at Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he is visited by his wife for just a half-hour each week.
Beristain’s wife said she voted for Trump because she supported his policies on deporting “killers” and criminal undocumented immigrants. However, she never expected her husband to be one of the deportees.
“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” she explained.
“We don’t want to have cartels here, you don’t want to have drugs in your high schools, you don’t want killers next to you,” she added. “You want to feel safe when you leave your house. I truly believe that. And, this is why I voted for Mr. Trump.”
Beristain’s family approached a federal immigration judge in New York, who they hope will reopen the case and buy them some time. Beristain’s stepson, Phil Kolliopoulos, also launched a Change.org petition.
The family is getting a lot of support from their neighbors as well.
“I voted for President Trump because I believed he was promising to develop a process to remove the illegal immigrants that have done acts against the United States,” wrote one supporter to the Huffington Post. “I also believed that he was going to correct the red tape that blocks the immigrants from becoming a citizen that have been a positive contributor to the way of life here.”
“They’re distraught,” said the family’s attorney, Chicago-based Adam Ansari. “They have lost a husband, a father, a main breadwinner.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Brendan McDermid