Three children, 19 years in the US, no criminal record: Meet the man still deported by Donald Trump
Saturday - 29/04/2017 04:31
Donald Trump is splitting up families.
After 19 years living and working in the US, paying taxes and raising a family, Mario Hernandez Delacruz was deported to a country he had not seen for two decades.
His daughter, Estrella Garcia, and one of her younger sisters, drove him to the airport in the family’s Jeep Wrangler where he caught a flight to Mexico. On the way, they talked about their plan to carry on appealing his right to live in the US; on the way home, there were just tears.
My mother has been so depressed. My two sisters – aged 15 and 12 – cannot concentrate at school. I’ve had to carry on because I’m now the head of the family,” says Ms Garcia, seated in the family’s modest home in south west Detroit. “I don’t think [Trump] cares. He just wants to get out people he doesn’t think belong here.”
As Mr Trump marks 100 days in the White House, the impact of his executive orders on immigration are reverberating across the country. Citizens from six Muslim-majority countries were told they could no longer enter the US, the nation’s refugee programme was suspended, and agents from US Customs and Border Protection have been raiding homes and business and deporting people deemed to be illegal.
Mr Trump had originally said his priority was deporting those undocumented migrants who had broken the law. But in Detroit and elsewhere, people who have lived in the country for decades and who have no criminal record are being detained and deported. Agents have been arresting people in courthouses and even as they leave church-operated cold weather shelters.
“My father had no criminal record. He worked, he volunteered in the community, and two of his children are US citizens,” says 23-year-old Ms Garcia. “Now, Dad is in Cancun with his mother and she is living in poverty. He calls every day and he says it's bad. He’s not allowed to apply to come here for 10 years… And neither my mother or myself can go there.”
Mr Delacruz, 44, entered the US illegally in 1998. He had grown up in Tabasco in southern Mexico. He crossed with wife, Matilde, and Ms Garcia, who was then aged just five. Her only memory of the journey is of being carried by her father and another man.