When U.S. immigration agents told Helen Beristain her undocumented husband was going to be deported she thought it was a joke.
"They came outside to the car, knocked on the window," she told Indiana Public Media. "They said, 'Are you Roberto's wife?' And, I said 'Yes.' And, they said, 'Well, your husband is being detained due to a deportation (order) he had 16-and-a-half years ago.' And, I said, 'That's a joke.' And, they said, 'No, it's true.'"
Roberto Beristain — who migrated from Mexico in 1998, later marrying Helen and settling in Granger, Indiana — was detained in February during his annual check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Since then, his wife and family have been trying to fight the deportation order, citing his contributions to the community as a small business owner to no avail.
Beristain is scheduled for deportation on Friday.
Helen Beristain said she supports Donald Trump largely because of his promise to crackdown on "illegal" immigration.
"We don't want to have cartels here, you don't want to have drugs in your high schools, you don't want killers next to you," she told Indiana Public Media. "You want to feel safe when you leave your house. I truly believe that. And, this is why I voted for Mr. Trump."
However, despite knowing her husband faced a deportation order from 2000 and regularly accompanying him during his annual immigration review, Beristain is shocked her husband has been caught up in Trump's executive order expanding deportation efforts.
"(Trump) did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked," Helen said.
Beristain lawyers had filed for a temporary halt on the deportation order but it's unclear if that will have any bearing on Friday's scheduled deportation.
When contacted by local reporters, ICE officials refused to confirm where Roberto Beristain was being held or if his deportation would proceed as scheduled.
"He's trying to hold up," said Helen Beristain when asked about her last contact with her husband. "He said, 'I haven't done anything wrong, I haven't committed a crime. The only crime I've done is wanting to be in the United States.'"