Months after federal immigration agents deported a husband and father who had been in the U.S. since he was brought to the country illegally at the age of 10, his family is still desperate to be reunited.
Jorge Garcia’s case made national headlines in January after video surfaced of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers escorting him away from his sobbing wife and children.
Despite her grief, however, Garcia’s wife of 15 years does not blame the Trump administration. Cindy Garcia told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin this week that this situation was caused by a broken immigration system, not those tasked with upholding the laws as they are currently written.
“I am not upset at our government due to the fact that I am a U.S. citizen and that our laws come first,” she said. “Our laws are just broken and I can’t be mad at Trump for doing his job because that is his job to protect us, as U.S. citizens, from criminals.”
Garcia cited her family’s experience as a prime reason America should reform its immigration policy.
“The only thing is my husband was not a criminal and those are the laws that need to be fixed because they are broken,” she said. “For the people that are here, brought as children, doing the right thing and have never committed a crime, we need to fix a pathway to citizenship for them.”
On the other hand, she took a firm stance that “criminals that have come here illegally … need to go back.”
The family has receive no updates from the White House since Jorge Garcia was deported, his wife said, and they are hoping for a positive resolution from Mexican authorities in the next several weeks.
“All we can do is pray that everything goes well in our case because there should be nothing against us,” she said. “The only crime he committed was coming here at 10 years old into the country, but he was a child at that time.”
The Garcias were able to reunite temporarily during a trip to Mexico and saw the impact of the deportation on his health.
“We were glad we were able to go and see him,” his wife said, explaining that “the Mexico life has taken a toll on him.”
Garcia said her husband had become nearly unrecognizable in the span of just a few months.
“He lost 30 pounds,” she said. “He looks different than he did living here in the U.S.”
In a statement days after Garcia’s deportation, an ICE spokesperson defended the decision to break up the family.
“As ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
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