Friends and supporters gathered around the Garcia family in the Lincoln Park library Friday afternoon to welcome home Jorge Garcia. Jorge returned home quietly before Christmas after nearly two years of separation due to a painful deportation that drew worldwide attention in 2018. He obeyed his order of removal in 2018 in order to keep open the possibility of coming home after ten years, but Jorge was able to surprise his children at the airport when he returned early a few weeks ago.
“We feared we’d lost Jorge forever, but thanks to Rep. Dingell, we are together again,” said his wife, Cindy Garcia. “We need to fix our immigration system because most stories like ours don’t get this much attention and don’t have such a happy ending.”
The Garcia family exhausted every avenue to bring Jorge home through the Mexican consulate and feared they would have to wait a decade before they could be reunited. However, Rep. Debbie Dingell advocated and expedited a waiver from USCIS which not only allowed him to re-enter the country, but also made possible a work permit and legal permanent resident status.
“It’s a deep sigh of relief now that Jorge is reunited with Cindy and the Garcia children, after they lost nearly two years with their father. Cindy never lost hope, and we never stopped fighting to bring Jorge home,” said Rep. Dingell. “This was a real life symptom of a long-broken immigration system and inhumane immigration policies from the Trump Administration. It is time for Congress and the President to find the political will to do what is right, not what is convenient, and fulfill this nation’s promise to those who come here seeking a better life and those who call this nation home.”
Jorge was brought to the country as a child but did not qualify for the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, his wife is an American citizen, giving her the ability to sponsor her husband and giving him a clear path to citizenship.
“This entire ordeal was completely unnecessary,” said Cindy. “There’s no reason we couldn’t have stayed together and done the same thing. We need comprehensive immigration reform to end this madness.”