When President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union speech tomorrow night, the wife of a man the Trump administration deported will be in the audience.
Cindy Garcia will be the guest of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
Rep. Dingell has been working to reunite Jorge Garcia with his family. He was deported to Mexico in mid-January.
Cindy and Jorge Garcia joined Stateside to discuss Cindy's life with her husband in the United States, and how she feels about the president’s immigration policies.
Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.
On her husband’s deportation
Jorge arrived in the United States at ten years old and lived here for 29 years until his deportation in January.
Cindy has been married to Jorge for 15 years, and back in 2005 they tried to adjust his status but found their lawyer to be incompetent, resulting in an annual series of applying for stays of deportation.
In November 2017, Jorge had been alerted that, because he had previously received a deportation, “he would have to leave,” Garcia said. “Nothing at all was on his record.”
There have been severe costs to the Garcia family. “My children have been devastated,” Garcia said. “My youngest child was just in a state of shock,” she said. “He doesn’t want to cry, and then when we do get him to cry, it’s hard, so we have to hug him and we have to watch him especially.”
On her attendance at the State of the Union
Garcia sees her husband’s deportation as a message from the Trump presidency that criminality does not matter anymore in deportation. “No one here is protected … it doesn’t matter if you commit a crime or don’t commit a crime, everybody is being deported,” she said. “And that is not right because the president himself said only criminals are going back.”
Garcia’s attendance at the State of the Union address carries a weight for herself and her family. “I want him to see what he is doing to my family,” she said. “I want him to realize that I am a person, I am an American citizen, and so are my children, and he’s tearing us apart.”
On being in Mexico
"It's really hard," says Jorge Garcia. "I don’t know what to think because everything here is really different.... I’m by myself … where I don’t know anybody, so it’s hard."