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By Thatiana Diaz
January 22, 2018 04:21 PM
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Credit: Vimeo

After nearly 30 years of living in the United States, Jorge Garcia — an undocumented immigrant — was forced to say goodbye to his family on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The heartbreaking moment between Garcia and his wife and two children at the Detroit airport was caught on camera and has caused a stir online.

At the age of 10, Garcia, now 39, crossed the border illegally alongside a relative who brought him from Mexico. During the last three decades, he met his wife Cindy and raised two teenagers, who are all U.S. citizens. He also worked as a landscaper.

In the video, Garcia experiences an agonizing moment with his loved ones, hugging and kissing his them goodbye under the watchful eye of two immigration agents, who then accompany him through the gates.

Several family members and friends also went to the airport in support of Garcia with posters that read, “Stop separating families.”

For years, the Garcias have tried to gain permanent legal status for Jorge, spending over $125,000 on lawyers, according to the Detroit Free Press. The father of two doesn’t qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. legally. The future of DACA itself is currently being debated in Congress and is an issue at play in resolving the current U.S. government shutdown.

“People are justifiably outraged at the deportation of Jorge Garcia, but make no mistake, his story isn’t in a world of its own. Our government is writing ones like his every-single-day,” Pedro J. Perez, NYC Attorney said to PEOPLE CHICA. “You have to question the principle of our policies when they allow a man who has called the United States home for the past thirty years to be uprooted and separated from his family.”

According to immigration laws, Garcia could be banned from entering the United States for at least 10 years, a harsh reality for a close-knit family living together all these years. “The house is completely empty,” Cindy told the Detroit Free Press. “We walk in, and it’s not the same. We’re always looking at the door, waiting for him to come through from work, and he’s not going to come through.” The family continues to file petitions to get him back home.

She adds, “I believe that we have to continue to fight, step up to the plate. The fight is not over. It’s just beginning.”