Update: Eddie's Steak Shed owner to be deported Friday, according to family
we told you how Roberto Beristain, owner of Eddie's Steak Shed in Granger, faced deportation.
Now, Roberto is set to be deported and is in custody on the way to Mexico.
His family's attorney, Adam Ansari, said immigration officials aren't the easiest to communicate with. As of 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, he and the family don't know where Roberto is being held or transported to. But they do know he was in Kankakee, Illinois, on Thursday.
The family's attorney made it clear the family should not be talking with any media at this time. They're distraught over the situation and they've been bombarded with calls from people and it's been overwhelming for the family.
Roberto was in the United States legally by checking in with immigration enforcement each year. He had applications in and had used every possible avenue to be able to stay in the united states.
"I mean, Roberto has his social security card," Roberto's wife, Helen Beristain, told us in early March. "I mean, he's got his license, he's got everything he needs to have to be here."
It was only once President Trump expanded the criteria for people being deported that he was dinged for a deportation violation back in 2000 when he crossed into Canada by accident.
"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."
Helen was looking at the bright side at the time, thinking it would only be months until he could come back to the U.S.
"Yeah, it's going to be a long vacation in Riviera Maya," she said.
At this point, their attorney says it's unlikely that will be the case unless the administration changes.
"It's going to take strong elected officials to make sure that they can convince more people that it's not right that these individuals are being picked up," Ansari said. "That families are being torn apart and we're not actually going after felons any more. We're going after job creators, we're going after fathers. We're going after people that are just trying to provide for their families and have been in this country for decades"
The next steps for the family's attorney is to reach out to national media and congress, especially Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. He wants to let her know that she should help Roberto, saying these are not the type of people who should be removed from this country. He contributed a lot to this community and was properly documented.
"If you want to help, I encourage you to write your elected officials," Ansari said. "I encourage you to stand up, speak out. This is an issue that's happening all across the country and we need to help support our immigrant community."
A couple of employees of Eddie's Steak Shed said Roberto and his family are like their family, so they're saddened. But to make things even harder on them, at work they've been getting calls from people saying horrible things and threatening them.
By Travis Robinson
March 9, 2017
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.