An undocumented immigrant from Mexico, who had been living in the US for almost 20 years and married a US-born Trump supporter, was deported on Tuesday (4 April). Roberto Beristain's wife Helen had voted for US President Donald Trump in the November 2016 elections because of his stance on immigration.
The 43-year-old was detained on 6 February when he went in for a routine check with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. Roberto is believed to have entered the US in 1998 to visit a relative, but continued to live illegally in the country.
Two years later, he was detained for a short period at the US-Canadian border at Niagara Falls after making a wrong turn and crossing into the neighbouring country. He was issued voluntary self deportation orders and was given 60 days to leave the country. However, he did not return and chose to stay with his wife, who was pregnant at the time.
During the time period, he obtained a social security card, work permit and a driver's licence, BuzzFeed reported. They couple, who have three children together, later purchased a restaurant near their home in Granger, Indiana and reports suggest that ICE officials took no action against him despite having an order to remove him from the country.
Shortly after he was detained in February, Helen told local media: "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."
In a statement released by his attorneys late on Tuesday, Beristain said: "They suddenly told me it was time to go. They told me to get my stuff, they put me in the back of a van, and sped toward the border.
"They took me to another facility while in transport to sign paperwork. I asked to speak with my attorney, but was told there wasn't time for that. At around 10:00 pm, I was dropped off at the Mexico-US Border and walked into Mexico."
His lawyer Adam Ansari said that his client was deported despite having no criminal record. "He hadn't committed any crimes. He didn't even have a parking ticket," Ansari was quoted as saying.
He added that Beristain's deportation was expedited to "short circuit the judicial system".
"It all happened very, very quickly, and it's like immigration services just wanted to get him out of the country so they didn't have the potential challenge," Ansari stressed.