As the brutal attack on immigrant families and communities by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress continues, the video of a husband and father being ripped from the arms of his wife and two teenage kids and deported on Monday—which happened to be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—offers the last up-close and personal example of what the GOP's cruel and far-reaching policies look like in practice.
"How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day? It's another example of the tone-deafness of this administration... If Jorge isn't safe, no one is safe."
—Erik Shelley, Michigan United
As the Detroit Free Press reports:
His arms wrapped around his wife and two teenage children, Jorge Garcia's eyes welled up Monday morning as he looked into their eyes one last time near the entrance to the airport security gate at Detroit Metro Airport.
His wife, Cindy Garcia, cried out while his daughter, Soleil, 15, sobbed into Garcia's shoulder as they hugged. Two U.S. immigration agents kept a close watch nearby.
After 30 years of living in the U.S, Garcia, a 39-year-old Lincoln Park landscaper, was deported on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from metro Detroit to Mexico, a move supporters say was another example of immigrants being unfairly targeted under the Trump administration.
The scene at the airport, with immigration officials standing to the side to escort Garcia onto a plane, was caught in this heart-wrenching video:
EMOTIONAL SCENE: A tearful Detroit father says goodbye to his wife and children before being deported to Mexico after living in the U.S. for nearly 30 years. Jorge Garcia came to America with an undocumented relative at the age of 10. He is too old to fall under DACA protection. pic.twitter.com/gI2dMWwlJ8— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) January 16, 2018
"How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?" Erik Shelley, a leader with Michigan United, an immigrant rights group, told the Free Press. "It's another example of the tone-deafness of this administration. ... If Jorge isn't safe, no one is safe."
Brought to the U.S. by an older relative when he was just 10 years old, Garcia is now too old to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which is now the center of heated negotiations on Capitol Hill.
Nearly forty, Garcia has now living the U.S. for three decades. According to reports he has never been in trouble with the law (not even a parking ticket) and pays his taxes each year.
Before his deportation, Garcia spoke of his sadness and worries for the future. "I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they're probably going to have a hard time adjusting," he said. "Me not being there for them."