A big island coffee farmer who was able to rally the Kona community has lost his battle with immigration authorities. The man has now said his final goodbyes to his family and had voluntarily deported himself back to Mexico.
Andres Magana Ortiz, who is 43-years-old, called Hawaii home for 30 years. Hawaii’s Star Advertiser has said that Ortiz has come to symbolize some of the shortcomings of immigration law under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Ortiz is a coffee farmer, and really a hero to all of the morning challenged Americans out there. But that didn’t stop the deportation back to his native land of Mexico. “We said our goodbyes at home,” said Magana Ortiz’s 20-year-old daughter Victoria Magana Ledesma. “My dad decided it was better for my brother and my sister to not go all the way to the airport,” she continued. Magana Ortiz is a father of three and married (his wife and children are all US citizens), but because he was illegally living in Hawaii, he voluntarily paid for his own deportation, trying to make this situation easier on his American family.
On Friday night, Magana Ortiz boarded flights he paid for to San Francisco, Houston, and finally, Morelia, Mexico, where he was ordered to return leaving the family and coffee farming business all behind. Anti-immigration pundits will say that he broke the law and deserves this outcome, but not all agree. Magana Ortiz was a productive and tax-paying member of society, and he was not a criminal. But, as a boy, Magana Ortiz crossed the border from Mexico in 1989 without begging permission and that’s criminal enough for some.
Magana Ortiz eventually made his way to Hawaii as a migrant worker to pick coffee. He has been successful in the United States and became one of the most respected farmers in the Kona district, leasing about 20 acres and helping run 15 other small farms. Magana Ortiz was also a leader in efforts to control the coffee berry borer, a destructive pest discovered on Hawaii island back in 2010. He even collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on field tests.
“I love this country and I love these islands. If I have to leave, it’s going to be very hard on everyone,” Magana Ortiz said before being ordered to return to Mexico.
The Obama administration started removal proceedings against Magana Ortiz in 2011 but granted him a temporary stay in 2014. In March, he was ordered to leave as the Trump administration stepped up enforcement against people in the country illegally.
Last month, Magana Ortiz was granted a 30-day reprieve on the deportation order that finally came due. A federal judge, Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in a May 30 opinion that while President Donald Trump has said he wants to target “bad hombres” in immigration enforcement, “the government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”
Unfortunately, Magana Ortiz and his family are all suffering because of the “bad hombres” the laws are written for. This is just further evidence that good people don’t need laws to tell them how to act and to be successful, and the bad ones will always get around the laws to hurt others anyway.
Magana Ortiz is one of the good ones, providing a service to people everywhere through his coffee farm. He wasn’t one of the criminals who was putting other lives in danger, yet Obama started proceedings, and Trump finished it. It’s hard to say how long Magana Ortiz will be in Mexico, but his family is fighting to get him back.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.