A former driver for the Trump family, as well as his 2016 campaign, has been locked up in an ICE detention center for nearly 8 months while he fights to remain in the United States with his family.
38-year-old Zoltan Tamas of Romania was a driver for the Trump family and the president’s campaign staff during the 2016 election. According to reports, Tamas had been a green card holder since 2011, when he immigrated to the United States from Romania.
According to the New York Times:
‘Mr. Tamas, a green-card holder, was arrested by immigration authorities after he applied for United States citizenship in 2016 and a background check revealed that he had been convicted in absentia of committing insurance fraud in Romania.’
The Times goes on to say:
‘His lawyer is appealing an immigration judge’s decision to deport him and asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release Mr. Tamas while the case winds through the court. But the agency has said that he must remain detained because of his crime.
‘“Zoltan wasn’t caught crossing the border,” said Mario Urizar, Mr. Tamas’s lawyer, adding that his client was not a flight risk. “He was in the country legally, paying taxes and has no criminal record in the United States. Why would you keep him detained? They should use their discretionary power to release him.”’
Since being locked up in the Wakulla Correctional Institution in Crawfordville, Fla., near Tallahassee, which is only a 6-hour drive from his hometown of West Palm Beach, his wife and children — 11-year old son, and 8-year old daughter who suffers from a congenital heart disease — have not been allowed to see him even once. Right now, the family, and especially his daughter, are struggling to survive without Mr. Tamas, who financially supports them.
Mr. Tamas’s wife described the circumstances of the arrest to the Times:
‘In 2016, as legal residents of the United States for nearly five years, Mr. Tamas and his family were eligible to become naturalized Americans. They filled out the forms, got fingerprinted and completed biometric exams.
‘Ms. Rogozan was notified within a few months that she had been scheduled for an interview with an immigration officer. But Mr. Tamas was not. He called and sent emails, only to hear that his background check had not been completed. “He was very confused, asking, ‘Why is this happening?’” recalled his wife.
‘Ms. Rogozan and her children became Americans in April 2017.
‘In June of last year, Mr. Tamas received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting that he report to the agency office to discuss his “inadmissibility” to the United States at the time that his family had traveled to Romania on vacation and returned in 2013.
‘When Mr. Tamas and his wife arrived at the office, he was told that he would be detained, without further explanation. An officer ordered Mr. Tamas to hand his wife his wedding band, belt and phone — and escorted him away.
‘She has not seen him since.’
Ms. Rogozan said that she has had to borrow $25,000 from friends in order to pay for medical bills and other expenses, but that it wasn’t enough to survive on long-term. She said that her daughter, Rania, has been so anxious since her father was detained that she has started rubbing her ears so hard that they bleed.
Ms. Rogozan also stated that if Zoltan is indeed forced to go back to Romania, that the family would follow him, but without the healthcare that they receive here, their daughter Rania would likely die.
Of course, when asked, The White House did not respond for comment, and ICE officials declined to discuss the case.
Featured image via screenshot