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Unclear When Deported Ind. Restaurant Owner Could Return To U.S.

Roberto

Photo: Tyler Lake

Roberto Beristain owns a popular Granger, Ind. restaurant.

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.

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  • Rajan

    here is a glaring example of executing the letter of the law without the spirit of the law….a law should allow for some degree of flexibility and common sense… what is wrong with our country…obviously Mr. Trump and other people who are patriotic and hardworking intended the new immigration law to weed out crimiinals and dangerous illegal aliens who would pose a risk to this country…. This immigrant was snagged up due to paper irregularities ..and even if it was a mistake , this kind of error is nothing tantamount to a high risk or danger to american society…have we become a society that is brainless and incapable of distinguishing danger from an asset to the country….i would be proud to call this gentleman a compatriot and fellow citizen…. would someone in the upper echelon of the administration smooth out this miscarriage of justice…if we apply the law we must balance the letter of the law with the spirit o the law !

  • Alice63

    So how much did it cost taxpayers to have ICE detain and deport this beloved family man and valuable member of the Hoosier business community? The meanness, cruelty, and complete illogic of these draconian policies are sickening. Especially chilling is the denial of attorney meetings and dead-of-night deportation while his case is in court. While these kinds of actions may make white supremacists and xenophobes all warm and fuzzy, the problem with all of these bullying and terrorizing immigration policies and perspectives is that they are wrong–using nearly any measure of what constitutes a civil and reasonable society. We are not talking about a matter of opinion, we are talking about bald, ugly injustice.

  • Rajan

    a law should have both letter and spirit…here is an example of enforcing the letter of the law without the spirit of the law….he is not a threat, but rather an asseet to America…there should be flexibility for minor infractions. Apply the letter of the law but tamper it with the spirit of the law. The immigration changes were intent on weeding our criminals and violee people who would threaten the US…this man is no threat to the US but rather an asset !….perhaps some upper echelon official of the Immigration or the Trump administration can help smooth out the glitch ?

  • Bob Eckert

    In this moment, I am truly ashamed to be a citizen of the United States of America and a resident of the state of Indiana.

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