Trump voters lament deportation of their neighbor
A Sunday “60 Minutes” report detailed the story of Roberto Beristain, an immigrant deported to Mexico after being in the U.S. for nearly 20 years.
Family and friends of the Granger, Ind., business owner spoke with the CBS News program, expressing frustration that someone with no criminal record was separated from his wife and children, who are all citizens.
“It just feels wrong,” Kimberly Glowacki, a resident of the same town, told “60 Minutes.”
Michelle Craig, who voted for President Trump, said she did so because Trump promised to deport dangerous criminals.
“This is not the person he said he would deport,” she said. “The community is better for having someone like” Beristain in it.
Beristain was the longtime cook and new owner of a restaurant in town, “Eddie’s Steak Shed,” that employs about 20 people, “60 Minutes” noted. He had no criminal record. He entered the U.S. in 1998 illegally but had been issued a temporary work permit, Social Security number and drivers license under the Obama administration.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told “60 Minutes” in a statement that Beristain was deported for having a “final order of removal” against him. He had obtained a temporary deferral of the order three years ago, “60 Minutes” said, and had checked in once a year with the government.
The incident highlights the change in immigration policy between Obama and Trump. According to ICE, arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have more than doubled since Trump signed an executive order prioritizing deportations.
Some of Trump’s supporters in Granger are now disappointed.
“I voted for him because he said he was going to get rid of the bad hombres. Roberto is a good hombre,” town resident Dave Keck told “60 Minutes.”
“I mean, he showed up here with just the shirt on his back and he’s a restaurant owner 20 years later … and he worked his butt off to get there,” added resident Matt Leliaert.
“The only bad thing he’s done is stayed in the United States because he loves this country,” Helen Beristain said of her husband. “That’s his only crime.”