MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WCMH) — The husband of a Donald Trump supporter has been deported back to Mexico despite having no criminal record.
Helen Beristain told WSBT-TV in March that she voted for President Donald Trump even though she’s married to an undocumented immigrant. She believed the president’s policy was only to deport people with criminal records, and that he would leave families intact.
“I think our President is going to keep all the good people here. He is not going to tear up families. I don’t think he wants to do that. He just wants to keep us safe,” Helen Beristain told WSBT.
But then her husband, who has been in the United States for nearly 20 years, was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deported to Mexico.
“He hadn’t committed any crimes. He didn’t even have a parking ticket,” family attorney Adam Ansari said. “From everyone’s accounts he is probably one of the most lovable guys you will ever meet. He is a loving husband and father. And he put a lot of work into his restaurant.”
Roberto Beristain married his wife in 2001. They raised a child from a previous marriage while having three more. All of the kids and his wife are US citizens. But he tells CNN he never sought legal residency after getting married because he was afraid it would require him to go back to Mexico for some time.
Eventually, he became the owner of the popular Eddie’s Steak Shed restaurant in Granger, Indiana. He has a valid work permit and a drivers license, and has been voluntarily showing at an ICE office in Florida where his immigration attorney lives for the last five years looking for a way to become a legal US resident.
But then he was detained, bounced between detention facilities in Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas before finally being deported to Mexico.
His wife says she feels betrayed by the government, and the family’s attorney is looking for ways to bring him back legally.
“It is fundamentally unfair to do this to a person whether you have your papers or not,” Ansari said. “He has been here for 20 years. He has a family and a business. You are not going to give him an opportunity for relief? He has contributed so much to his community. As United States citizens we can give him that much.”