Man Deported To Mexico After Living In U.S. For 30-Years

Screengrab/WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7/YouTube

Jorge Garcia came to the U.S. with a family member at the age of 10. He leaves a wife and two children behind.

Jorge Garcia became an undocumented immigrant living in the United States 30 years ago when a family member brought him to America at the age of ten.

But at the age of 39 - too old to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - Garcia was forced to say goodbye to his wife and two children as Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers put him on a plane back to Mexico.

Jorge Garcia had been facing an order of removal from immigration courts since 2009, but under the previous administration, he had been given stays of removal. Because of the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration, in November Jorge Garcia was ordered to return to Mexico.

His supporters say he has no criminal record — not even a traffic ticket — and pays taxes every year.

Garcia said he asked ICE if his expulsion could be delayed again, in hopes of new DACA legislation that might expand the eligibility age range, but the agency declined and gave him until January 15 to leave.

"How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?" said Erik Shelley, a leader with Michigan United that advocates for immigrant rights and other issues. "It's another example of the tone-deafness of this administration. ... If Jorge isn't safe, no one is safe."

While Garcia is worried about finding work and making a new life in a country foreign to him, his wife is concerned about how she will be able to take care of their children.

"It's like plucking a main artery, like, their lifeline, taking it from them and then just putting it somewhere else," said family friend Norma Garza Jones, 44, of Detroit. "Those that are left behind are left to just try and compensate for that artery that main blood vessel, you know, that's been pulled from them."