Deported Lincoln Park father faces another year away from family

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Cindy Garcia, son Jorge Jr., husband Jorge and daughter Soleil in happier times.

A Lincoln Park father of two, deported to Mexico after living in the United States without issue for nearly three decades, will have to spend at least another year away from his family as he awaits a waiver to return to the United States.

Jorge Garcia, 40, had a meeting with the American consulate in Juarez, Mexico earlier this month but he'll now need to apply for a pardon, or waiver, before he's able to obtain a visa to return to the United States. The waiting time to receive a waiver is about a year, said his wife, Cindy Garcia.

It's "very devastating for us," she said.

Jorge Garcia was deported on Martin Luther King Jr. day in 2018 after several attempts to stay in the United States failed. He came to the United States as a 10-year-old, one year too old to qualify for protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He has no criminal record. He's now living with an aunt outside Mexico City.

His attorney, Mayra Lorenzana-Miles, said in order to get a visa, Garcia will need two waivers — one for the unlawful presence that he had in the United States, and another as a provision to reapply after being deported.

"He can’t even apply for those waivers until he gets that interview," which he's now had, said Lorenzana-Miles.

The official waiting time to obtain a waiver is now 11-14 1/2 months, according to the facility that processes the waivers, said Cindy Garcia.

Garcia's story made national headlines in 2018 as his devastated family said goodbye to him at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He'd tried to obtain citizenship but a trial in Detroit's immigration court failed as did an appeal. Stays to remain in the United States eventually ran out.

Cindy Garcia said the family has spent thousands trying to obtain her husband's citizenship. She said at one point, they had to choose between legal fees and their home. They chose legal fees.