Jorge Garcia, the man who had lived in the U.S. for 30 years and was deported to Mexico this week despite having no criminal record, wishes the Trump administration was willing to look at immigration cases individually.
"I didn't go into the country by my choice. I was a kid," Garcia, 39, told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday from Mexico City. A family member brought him to the U.S. at the age of 10 as an undocumented immigrant, and Garcia married a U.S. citizen.
Responding to Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) admission that Garcia's deportation is "something we need to look at," Garcia expressed hope that perhaps the government will allow him to return.
"I know that somebody is at least looking at my case," he said. His situation, he added, is further proof that these cases should receive individual attention.
"It's a nightmare that came to life that we don't wish upon anybody," his wife, Cindy Garcia, told MSNBC on Tuesday.
She worries how she will support her family now that she's the only source of income, she added. "It's going to be very rough, living off low income, our life is going to change because I have to support two households, mine and Jorge's until he gets a job."
She noted that a lawyer is working to file a waiver on Garcia's behalf to permit him to return to the U.S.
Garcia's deportation shows President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown in action. While an Obama-era policy focused on deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records, it's been replaced with a more widespread mandate to go after anyone not living in the country legally, regardless of their criminal history.
From the time Trump took office until the end of September, Immigration and Customs Enforcement removals that resulted from arrests increased by 37 percent over the previous year, according to the Department of Homeland Security.