Jorge Garcia didn’t get a say when his family brought him to the United States illegally. He was only 10. Although that’s too old to qualify under the so-called DACA program, he’s the new face of the deportation program that is rounding up people and sending them to a country they don’t know.
Garcia, 39, has lived in Michigan for 30 years. He has a wife and young children. He ran a business. He paid his taxes. He has no criminal record, the Detroit Free Press reports.
He had asked immigration officials if he could stay pending the resolution of the DACA program, a conflict in Congress that threatens to invoke a government shutdown.
They said “no”. He was kicked out of the country on Monday.
“I feel kind of sad,” Garcia told the Free Press on Sunday night, his hands interlocked, pressed against his forehead in worry. “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting. Me not being there for them for who knows how long. It’s just hard.”
Especially painful will be being separated from his children, Soleil and Jorge Garcia Jr., 12. The Garcias said their 12-year-old son has been taking the news hard, not expressing himself, which is concerning his parents.
“I’m going to be sad because I’m not going to be able to be with them,” Garcia said at the table of a friend’s home in southwest Detroit during a farewell party for him. “… It’s going to be kind of hard for me to adjust, too. Not being there with them, helping the kids with school stuff. It’s going to be kind of hard. But it’s something, I guess I got to find a way to adjust.”
Will Democrats stand up for the likes of Jorge Garcia by shutting down the government this week because of the lack of a deal on DACA?
Not likely, suggested Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, during her regular politics segment on PBS NewsHour last evening.
“You have Democrats who are up [for re-election] in 2018 who sit in red states, who do not relish the idea of having to go into an election year defending a government shutdown,” she said. “More fundamentally, in terms of their DNA, they like government; that’s the whole point. So the idea that they would shut down government that provides services to people goes against everything that they stand for.”
Which is why they won’t stand for the Garcia family.