Jorge Rafael Zaldivar Mendieta
Keep this Colorado father with his family
Jorge Rafael Zaldivar Mendieta has been married to his U.S. citizen wife, Christina, for the past 13 years. Together, they have five children. For over a decade, he has faced potential deportation and separation from his family because of a mistake by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
On Nov. 15, 2019, Jorge went to his check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as he has always done when requested by ICE over the past years. Jorge was detained by ICE despite a pending petition to review his case. He was held in the for-profit GEO detention center for two months, where he had to fight to receive basic diabetes medication, was not provided dental care when needed, and lost more than 20 pounds.
On Jan. 15, Jorge was deported to Mexico. Prior to his deportation, Christina flew to Mexico City to be there with him when he arrived. She will return to Denver to parent their five children on her own while they continue to fight his case to return Jorge to Denver with his family and community where he belongs.
What happens when a person is deported?
Christina Zaldivar shares how her personal experience helped spur the creation of "Crossing South," a new guide that provides resources to those who have to return to their countries of origin.
Torn apart by ICE, a Colorado family vows to keep fighting to stay together
In a Jan. 24 phone interview from Mexico City (where Jorge was deported), Christina shared her thoughts on their experience and what comes next for their family.