The family of a northern Indiana man is speaking out after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers detained him during a routine check-in last month.
Roberto Beristain owns a popular restaurant in St. Joseph County, has a driver’s license and pays taxes. He’s in custody because of an incident that happened more than 15 years ago.
Roberto’s wife Helen says the incident the officers were referring to stems back to 2000. She and Roberto decided to take a trip to Niagara Falls but took the wrong route and found themselves crossing the border to Canada. Officers there detained Roberto when they discovered he was in the country illegally.
“We got a lawyer and got him on a bail for $1,500,” Helen says. “And they told him, ‘You have to leave voluntarily in a month.’”
But Helen says she was pregnant at the time and suffering from high blood pressure, so Roberto decided to stay.
During an interview earlier this month, Helen said she voted for President Donald Trump because she supports his immigration policies. She said criminals should be deported, but she didn’t think her husband would face that fate.
“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen said.
Roberto’s family says he’s already been moved from the detention center they visited him at in Kenosha, Wisc. An ICE spokesperson says in a statement the agency cannot release information about upcoming removals for security reasons, but he’s scheduled for deportation this Friday.