Two months ago, Jorge Garcia, a 39-year old man who’s lived in the United States for more than 30 years, was deported to Mexico due to current legislation targeting undocumented immigrants. Left behind were his wife, Cindy, and his two children, Jorge Jr, 12, and Soleil, 15, all of which are U.S. citizens.
Jorge, was brought originally to the U.S. by an undocumented family member when he was 10 years old. Since 2005, he has been searching for a path to legally live in the U.S. and has racked up over $125,000 in legal costs in the process. While he has actually faced deportation ever since 2009, the previous administration had provided him stays of removal that kept him here. But under the current administration, he was officially ordered back in November to return to Mexico. And unfortunately, Jorge was too old to qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which protects children of undocumented immigrants, thus leaving him with no options and his forced exit from the United States on January 15th.
Currently, Jorge is now living with his Aunt in on the second floor of a small house and has been feeling completely lost ever since, as he resides in a country that doesn’t feel like home whatsoever. With no criminal record here in the States, not even a single traffic violation ever, a solid work history, and someone who always paid his taxes every single year, I’m truly struggling to understand why this had to happen to Jorge.
Sadly, it’s been almost two months now since his deportation and his demise seems to have completely drifted out of the news. I have looked at the picture of him and his family hugging each other at the Detroit airport multiple times ever since I first came across his story and have felt a pain in my heart that I don’t know if I have the right words to back the feeling up.
What I can say is this. I have great compassion for Jorge Garcia and the family he had to leave behind. While I do know there are undocumented immigrants in this country that abuse our system, that deal drugs, and create more problems than provide benefits of remaining here, I wish there were changes to this legislation that would take each situation case-by-case, that looked at things like criminal records and tax histories, and maybe even got reports from previous employers. But alas, there is nothing of the sort and now an upstanding husband, father, and former three-decade long resident of the country I’m from is barred from being here. And for a man who worked morning to night doing landscaping to support his family, raising his kids, and loving his wife, I struggle to find any valid reason, other than broad legislation, why Jorge should have been deported.
If you’re wondering why I feel so passionate about this, enough to write an entry in my blog about it, it’s because of the great pain his story brings to my heart and soul. I can’t imagine what it must feel like right now being in Jorge’s shoes or even in his wife’s or kid’s either. I’m sure there have been many tear-filled nights on all parts concerned, as I would have plenty of my own too if I was in their situation. Nevertheless, I pray that somehow Jorge may one day be allowed to return to the United States and get official citizenship and I pray for all others who may have fallen into a similar situation as he.
In the end, my parting thoughts are this. I totally understand why so many are struggling right now to feel proud to be Americans. Hopefully, this will change soon, but until it does, I can only hope my words and my prayers may at least bring some light into the darkness of Jorge’s situation and the darkness that feels so present right now on our very soil…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson