- A former Trump family driver has been detained by ICE for eight months and faces deportation, the agency confirmed to INSIDER.
- An immigration judge ordered Zoltan Tamas, 38, deported after he tried to apply for citizenship, and a background check flagged an in-absentia fraud conviction in Tamas’ home country of Romania, The New York Times reported.
- Tamas immigrated to the United States legally in 2011 after winning the diversity visa lottery. His lawyer said he has no criminal record in the US, and has been a law-abiding, tax-paying resident.
A man who used to chauffeur President Donald Trump and his children has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for eight months, the agency confirmed to INSIDER.
Zoltan Tamas, 38, immigrated to the United States legally in 2011, after winning the highly coveted diversity visa lottery, according to The New York Times, which was first to report Tamas’ case.
Tamas lived in the US on a green card, but was arrested last June after a background check conducted as part of his citizenship application revealed that he was convicted in absentia of insurance fraud in Romania, his home country. He has no criminal record in the US, according to The Times.
An immigration judge ordered him deported, a ruling which was upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals, but Tamas’ lawyer is appealing to have his case reopened and reviewed before a federal appeals court, The Times reported.
Tamas is currently detained in the Wakulla County Facility in Florida, according to ICE’s detainee locator. ICE told INSIDER the agency generally cannot release people who are in custody and have been ordered deported by a judge.
Tamas’ wife, Alina Rogozan, told The Times that her husband often spoke highly of the Trump family, keeping the children’s mobile phone numbers in his phone, and even once receiving a $US100 tip from Donald Trump himself.
“They’re not what you see on TV,” Tamas often said, according to Rogozan.
But Tamas is the latest former Trump employee whose immigration case has been picked up in the media in a series of highly publicized cases in recent months. Dozens of former Trump Organisation employees were let go earlier this year, after The Washington Post and The New York Times revealed that the company had employed a number of unauthorised immigrants at multiple Trump-owned golf clubs.
Eric Trump has previously spoken publicly about the mass firings at his family’s businesses, calling them “truly heartbreaking.”
“Our employees are like family, but when presented with fake documents, an employer has little choice,” he said in January.
Rogozan told The Times that if her husband is ultimately deported, she and their two children will move back to Romania with him. But she said their daughter Rania, who was born with heart defects and has already undergone at least seven surgeries, required medical care likely only accessible in the US.
“It would be signing her death sentence to return to Romania. That is why we are fighting,” Rogozan said.
- Read more:
- Hundreds of migrants are being detained under a bridge in El Paso amid a surge of families crossing the border. Border Patrol agents say there’s nowhere else to put them.
- A California artist is building a 6-foot-high border wall out of cotija cheese and wants to ‘make America grate again’
- A brand-new US citizen walks us through the ‘hell’ it takes to go from foreigner to American
- The American Bar Association is sounding the alarm that US immigration courts are ‘on the brink of collapse’
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