An Injustice in Trump’s Twisted Version of America


I’ve been following the sad case of Roberto Beristain, an undocumented man from South Bend, Ind., who was separated from his wife and three daughters–all American citizens–on February 6 because of Donald Trump’s dispassionate, devoid-of-humanity orders. For two months, he was shuttled around to detention facilities in six different states, while a loving family could do little but try to keep track of him. Then, at 10 pm last Tuesday night, he was dropped off at the border at El Paso, and he walked into Mexico.

President Obama was tough on illegal immigrants, earning the nickname Deporter in Chief. But he injected discretion and humanity into his actions. Trump removed all of that. I knew he would be tougher on undocumented people, but never did I dream that he would tear asunder families. Like he did with the Beristains.

The way things work, the family will never be reunited. At least, not in the United States.

This should not happen in America, and to American families.

Beristain came to the US–yes, illegally–in 1998. He met his wife, Helen, in Fort Wayne, Ind., where I live. They were married in 2001, relocated in Mishawaka, and brought three daughters into the world, all of whom are now teenagers. And US citizens. Roberto is owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed and employs 20 people.

A mistake by immigration officials back in 2000 got him classified incorrectly, making it difficult to get a green card. They’ve tried to fix it over the years, but no luck. He got by on a work permit, and followed all the laws. He has no criminal record. Everyone describes him as a perfect citizen…except for not being, technically, a citizen.

President Trump: this is dispicable. And I see no indication that you care one iota.

Breaking up this family doesn’t keep anybody safe. It doesn’t protect American workers. It’s not a matter of expelling a “bad hombre.” It’s just a rule. A rigid policy.

This is only one such case. It’s getting press attention because the wife was a vocal Trump supporter. She never imagined Trump would rip apart her family.

I realize that many supposedly family-values Christian will rationalize ways to applaude this, and spout things like, “Your sins will find you out.” Some are Facebook friends. This saddens me, but not nearly as much as I’m saddened by what the Beristain family is suffering, as a loving father has been torn from their lives because of our President is playing to his base.

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1 Comment to "An Injustice in Trump’s Twisted Version of America"

  1. Billy Simbo

    Now you understand my frustration along with others who have an understanding of immigrants which our President and those who support a lot of his pronouncements do not have.
    First of all, you can’t paint all immigrants with the same brush as the President has done consistently. I pastored 4 different churches in NJ and PA made up entirely of immigrants. Those amongst my congregants who were “illegal” did everything they could to avoid causing trouble because the last thing they wanted was for them to be brought to the attention of the authorities. So when you speak at rallies and declare how illegal immigrants are causing crime waves, it shows you don’t know who you are talking about. Of course, we know by now that facts and correct information are not our President’s area of interest.
    But your main point of the post is really what bothers me the most, how can people who broadcast their pro-life, family-values stance agree with incidents and policies which break up families?
    As you have stated, Roberto was not a criminal or convicted person found dependent on the State. He employs 20 people (creating jobs being one of the Presidents promises and goals) he is married to an American. And from my experience as a long-time immigrant who is now a US citizen, as far as I know, being married to an American citizen is one of the quickest ways to obtain citizenship. We know that this is not a sham marriage, they have been married for a long time. If someone made a mistake in filing forms, corrections should be made, not deportation.

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