Detained restaurant owner facing possible deportation

Published: Mar. 9, 2017 at 4:21 PM EST
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Just a couple of months ago, Eddie's Steak Shed in Granger was given new ownership. But for the past month the owner, Roberto Beristain, hasn't been around. That's because in early February, he was put in jail and could be facing deportation.

His wife, Helen Beristain, says the last five weeks have been hard on the family, but it's not something she's letting keep her down. She says there's always a bright side to things.

Roberto was doing his yearly check in with ICE in Indianapolis, when something strange happened.

"We came and they said 'You can't come in there, ma'am. I'm sorry, it's just the people that we are serving.' And I said 'okay.' So I waited in the car and Roberto just never came back out," Helen said.

ICE had detained him because back in the year 2000 Roberto and Helen went to Niagara Falls and ran into some trouble when they took a wrong turn toward the Canadian border.

"That's when everything went down," Helen said. "They said 'well, you don't have a social security, you don't have no paper work, you don't have nothing. You're illegal, my friend, you're going to go in jail."

So he spent the next few weeks in jail and was told he had a few months to leave the states when he got out. Well, with a pregnant wife at the time, he wanted to stick around for his family. Since then, he's been on the straight and narrow to get citizenship.

"I mean, Roberto has his social security card," Helen said. "I mean, he's got his license, he's got everything he needs to have to be here."

Even with him gone, his family is still looking at the positives.

"You've just got to look at the bright side of the things," Helen said. "Sometimes, things don't go your way. Sometimes people make you feel like you're a criminal, you're doing bad things. But you've always got to look at the bright side."

Even if he ends up leaving for the 9 months until his green card comes through.

"Yeah, it's going to be a long vacation in Riviera Maya," Helen said. "Never been there! I've never been to Mexico! Maybe I get to be! To get to beautiful places like go to Cancun or do fun things, right?"

Right now, he's still detained in Kenosha, Wisconsin waiting on ICE to review his records. His wife says if you'd like to help, petitions are good because they might be looked at in the review.

Until Roberto gets back, the restaurant is still open with his sister-in-law, Helen's sister, and her husband are running things.

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