Rapper Chamillionaire wants to help the family of Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old man who was separated from his wife and two children by immigration officials.
The story of his deportation from Michigan to Mexico is a heartbreaking example of Donald Trump’s tightened immigration restrictions, which even affect people who came to the U.S. as children, like Garcia.
After years living in the U.S. for 30 years, a 39-year-old immigrant in metro Detroit was deported this morning to Mexico. Escorted by ICE agents, he said bye to wife and 2 kids before boarding. He was brought to US from Mexico when he was 10-yrs-old, too old to qualify for DACA: pic.twitter.com/KFPeweaMbG
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) January 15, 2018
Also known as Hakeem Seriki, the Houston rapper and entrepreneur is attempting to connect with Garcia’s family to “help with financial support in Jorge’s absence,” according to an email sent to journalist Niraj Warikoo. Chamillionaire gained fame with his 2005 single “Ridin'” with Krayzie Bone (you know it, “They see me rollin’, they hatin’…”).
Seriki contacted Warikoo, staff writer for the Detroit Free Press, after reading an article he published on Garcia’s deportation on Wednesday.
This is not a joke. I actually got an email yesterday from rapper Chamillionaire (of Ridin’ Dirty fame, the song that goes, They see me rollin,’ they hatin’) after he read my story on Jorge Garcia being deported. He wants to help him. pic.twitter.com/ZBJvcbTKRf
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) January 18, 2018
After an immigration judge ordered him to leave the U.S. in 2006, Garcia was deported on Monday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told Warikoo in a statement that “prosecutorial discretion” had been used to allow Garcia to stay in the U.S — but as of November, he was no longer allowed to stay.
Garcia was brought to the U.S. as a 10-year-old by his aunt in 1989, without documentation. Problem is, he’s too old to find protection under the , which protects immigrants who were brought into the country as children.
“I kind of had it in the back of my mind that something like this was going to happen, but I didn’t think it would happen this soon,” Garcia told CNN. “I thought I still had a little bit of time.”
Trump abolished the program, instated by the Obama Administration, in September 2017. Congress is currently looking to pass new legislation on DACA that could possibly include people Garcia’s age. But the legislation could be derailed as Republicans and Democrats battle over a new spending bill. Trump wants tighter immigration restrictions and a border wall with Mexico as part of the deal for “Dreamers.”
When asked by reporters about reaching a deal over DACA, Trump shirked responsibility, instead blaming the Democrats. “The Democrats are the ones who aren’t going to make a deal,” he said.
Garcia and his family are going to keep trying to get him back to the U.S., but while he’s out of the country, Seriki wants to lend a hand with finances — Garcia’s family has apparently already spent $125,000 on attorneys and filing fees, according to Warikoo. It wouldn’t be the first time the rapper has helped people in need — he raised over $45,000 for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“Just like so many other people out there, I don’t want to sit on the sidelines, I want to do the most that I can to help,” he wrote on his website.