Indiana Restaurant Owner Deported

Apr 10, 2017

An attorney is advocating for the return of deported Indiana restaurant owner Roberto Beristain.
Credit Tyler Lake/Indiana Public Broadcasting

It’s unclear when an Indiana restaurant owner who was deported to Mexico last week might be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Barbara Brosher reports Roberto Beristain’s case is pending in the federal court system.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say officers turned Roberto Beristain over to Mexican authorities who then took him to Juarez last week.

Attorney Adam Ansari is working as an advocate for the Beristain family.

Ansari 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.”

In February, ICE officials took Beristain into custody when he traveled to Indianapolis for his yearly check in with immigration officials in Indianapolis.

An ICE spokeswoman says Beristain was detained, and ultimately deported, because he failed to follow an order to voluntarily deport himself in 2000 when Canadian border authorities discovered he’d entered the U.S. illegally in 1998.

Beristain's family says he had obtained documentation to work in the U.S., and that he chose not to leave because his wife was pregnant.  

Ansari contends Beristain was trying to fight his deportation through several legal avenues and none of his attorneys were notified of the deportation.

"This was an attempt to short-circuit the justice process by intentionally removing him before a judge could stop his removal," Ansari says.

Ansari says Beristain’s family didn’t find out about his deportation until he was already in Mexico.