It’s unclear when an Indiana restaurant owner who was deported to Mexico Tuesday could reenter the U.S.
Roberto Beristain’s case is still pending in the court system.
An ICE spokesperson says officers turned Roberto Beristain over to Mexican authorities Tuesday night, who then took him to Juarez.
Immigration officials first took Beristain into custody back in February for an incident that happened more than 16 years ago. Beristain was told to voluntarily deport himself in 2000 because authorities on the Canadian border discovered he’d entered the U.S. illegally. Beristain chose not to leave because his wife was pregnant. That caused his voluntarily deportation to revert to a final order for removal, which ICE didn’t act on during annual check-ins until 2017.
Beristain owns a popular northern Indiana restaurant called Eddie’s Steak Shed. He employs about 20 people, pays taxes and obtained documentation to work in the U.S.
Attorney Adam Ansari is working as an advocate for the Beristain family and says a motion pending in a New York court claims Beristain was classified incorrectly in 2000 as an alien present in the U.S. without inspection.
“He should have been described as an arriving alien,” Ansari says. “If he was described as an arriving alien, he likely would have been able to fix his immigration status already.”
Ansari says Beristain’s family didn’t find out about his deportation until he was already in Mexico. It’s unclear when they’ll see him again.
Beristain does have family in Juarez, but Ansari says he considers Indiana home.
“The only thing that he keeps on talking about is how fast can I get back to my family?” Ansari says.