Give Now

Indiana Restaurant Owner To Be Deported Friday


Photo: Tyler Lake

Roberto Beristain owns a popular Granger, Ind. restaurant.

The family of a northern Indiana restaurant owner who ICE detained during a routine check-in in February says he’s scheduled for deportation Friday.

Roberto Beristain is the owner of a popular restaurant in Granger called Eddie’s Steak Shed. His family says he came to the United States from Mexico City illegally in 1998. He later obtained documentation to work in the country and checked in with ICE each year.

It was during one of those check ins last month that ICE took Beristain into custody because of an incident in 2000. Roberto and his wife, Helen, were visiting Niagara Falls that year and accidentally crossed into Canada. Officers there detained Roberto when they realized he was in the U.S. illegally. Helen says a lawyer helped get Roberto out on bail, but he was told he had to voluntarily leave the country within a month.

Roberto decided not to self deport because Helen was pregnant at the time. An ICE spokesperson says when Roberto failed to deport himself, his voluntary order revered to a final order of removal, meaning ICE could detain him. They didn’t act on that order for more than a decade.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose city is in the same county as Granger, calls Roberto a “model resident” in an article he wrote for The Huffington Post.

Meeting with his family and friends at his business, Eddie’s Steak Shed, in the town of Granger, I am struck by many things: the tenderness of his wife’s love for him, the innocence of his four American children (especially the teenage daughters who are now being taunted at school over his case), the loyalty of his 20 employees, and the pride and affection of his gathered friends and acquaintances as they rally to show their support.

But most striking of all is how many of the people now sticking up for Roberto are politically conservative. These are small-town Indiana residents, veterans and grandparents who come to his restaurant after Mass or Rotary. They vigorously defend him as a man they are proud to call a friend. And the more I think about it, the more clearly it is consistent with their conservative values that they stand up for Roberto.

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.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

  • pegasusgiraffe

    Trump supporters are all a bunch of whiny hypocrites whose core political philosophy is, “Glad it happened to them, and not me!”. Karma can be hell.

  • Dani Kalifornia

    So you have gotten a speeding ticket which means you have broken the law. According to your parameters that means you lose your house, your, family, and anything else you have spent 20 years or so building.

  • Josie

    I don’t think the “punishment” is extreme! It’s not even a punishment.

  • Josie


  • Josie

    20 years

  • Josie

    “steal our health insurance” lmao You really have no idea how things work.

  • Josie

    Shiner, are you under the impression that the war just started when Trump took office? Are you even really an adult? You sound like a teenager pretending to be an adult.

  • Josie

    well..u people are really funny. I’m wondering who ties your shoes in the morning. “you reap what you sew” YES, you stay in a country illegally for 20 years, now finally, you will be kicked back out.

  • Josie

    Huh? I thought no illegals voted..isn’t that what lefties say?

  • Josie

    He became owner of the restaurant in JANUARY. He was here illegally for 20 years. I would bet he took advantage of welfare bene’s, I would bet his wife did too. She ALSO lived in the country illegally for 14 years! But found a way to circumvent and become citizen. I would bet fraudulently.

  • Josie

    He meant “Feeding off of American society”

  • Josie

    Your logic is so flawed. It’s like we have 2 different species. Intelligent, logical Trump supporters and the dumbed down, psychotic leftist libs.

  • Josie

    LMAO if it wasn’t so tragically sad that people are this delusional and illogical and misinformed, it would be hilarious.

  • Josie

    It’s funny that you think there are more illegal Polish and Irish than there are Mexicans. It’s also really funny that you think Trump wants to deport “blacks”. lmao I am starting to see the humor in your delusions.

  • Josie

    No, he didn’t. You are grossly misinformed.

  • Josie

    Christophe? You are not making sense.

  • Josie

    yeah. what do you think is wrong with that statement?

  • Josie

    They do it everytime!

  • Josie

    He broke the law by being here illegally, like the millions of others you mention. He happened to be one who got caught crossing back from Canada, that’s all and ignored his deportation order. Like many many others. They ALL should go.

  • Sheila A. Donovan

    Josie, I see it took you a month to reply. Must have thought deeply before replying. You did not think deeply enough. I did not say that there are MORE illegal Irish and Polish than Mexicans. Don’t twist my words to suit your narrow mind.

  • Steven Shiner

    I know exactly how it works……. Maybe you should do some reading yourself…..

  • Steven Shiner

    Not only am I an adult, but have been following this very closely for years now……. Republicans are the single largest threat to the USA at this point in time. Then to top it all off you elect Hitler!! Fools……..

  • Steven Shiner

    LOL…. inbred huh?…… So tell me…… when will you start to develope a brain??

  • MightyMoo

    Huh? I thought I was talking about the wife who voted and ISN’T illegal. I guess you can’t read.

  • Lisa Frazier

    “steal our health insurance” means this:

    800 billion dollars will be cut from Medicaid and diverted to tax cuts for the rich over the next decade.

    According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 20 percent of earners would receive 60 percent of the savings and the top 1 percent of earners (those making more than $772,000 in 2022) would receive 40 percent of the savings.

    Idiots: those who vote for this bill which puts $$$ over people
    Fools: those who vote for those who put $$$ over people

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook