An Indiana woman who voted for President Donald Trump was stunned to discover that her husband, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, is set to be deported as soon as today. President Donald Trump swore during his campaign run that he would deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants once he assumed office.
Roberto Beristain, 43, a resident of Granger, Indiana, and owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed restaurant, who lived with his wife Helen and their four American-born children in Mishawaka, was going for his yearly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement check-in when officials arrested him. His wife, Helen, had voted for Trump in November because she agreed with his immigration policy to drive undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds out of the country, daughter Jasmine Beristain said, but didn’t think it was going to affect her husband.
“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,” Helen told Indiana Public Media earlier this month. “You want to feel safe when you leave your house. I truly believe that. And, this is why I voted for Mr. Trump.”
But Helen didn’t think those policies would apply to her husband, who owns a popular restaurant in Granger, Indiana.
“Trump did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen said.
According to the South Bend Tribune, her husband Roberto Beristain came to the United States in 1998 to visit an aunt and stayed. Then, he met his wife and the two started a family. Roberto was detained during a trip the couple took to Niagara Falls in 2000 after they accidentally crossed the border into Canada. When U.S. immigration agents discovered he was undocumented, they ordered him to leave the country within 60 days. Roberto ignored the order and remained in the country.
For the past 17 years, Roberto has been checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials once a year and has a work permit, Social Security card and driver’s license,The Tribune reported. He worked for eight years at Eddie’s Steak Shed in Granger, then bought it from his wife’s sister in January. Helen told the news agency that Roberto is in the process of applying for a green card. Even if he is deported, however, she is hopeful he can get the green card and return to her, his business and their four children.
“Yeah, it’s going to be a long vacation in Riviera Maya,” Helen told local NBC station WNDU. “Never been there! I’ve never been to Mexico! Maybe I get to be! To get to beautiful places like go to Cancun or do fun things, right?”
However, under an executive order signed by Trump during his first week in office, many people like Beristain could be deported. Under Obama-era directives, ICE focused mainly on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety. But since Trump signed an executive order in January on immigration, ICE agents have been detaining hundreds of undocumented immigrants, which appealed to many of his voters, but it also expanded the definition of what a criminal was to include any person charged with a criminal offense, even if he or she has not been convicted.