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News > U.S.

ICE Detains Trump Chauffeur Despite Legal Migrant Status

  • The chauffeur would pick up the Trump family in Florida in their custom made black Cadillac Escalade.

    The chauffeur would pick up the Trump family in Florida in their custom made black Cadillac Escalade. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 March 2019

Tamas was transferred to a correctional facility after ICE arrested and he fell prey to Trump’s heavy migration crackdown.

In a twist of fate, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chauffeur, Zoltan Tamas, is being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the New York Times reported Friday.


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Stationed six long hours away from his family home, Tamas was transferred to the Wakulla Correctional Institution after ICE agents arrested him eight months ago when his migratory status was called into question and he fell prey to Trump’s heavy migration crackdown. However, Tamas immigrated legally from Romania in 2011 and holds a green-card, is licensed to carry a gun and a homeowner as well as a faithful tax payer.

Tamas has worked for the Trumps since 2006 when he was hired to attend the guests visiting the Mar-a-Lago resort. A few years later he trained as a security guard and worked at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida in addition to chauffeuring the Trump family around the state. Tamas and his family were among 50,000 applicants to win the diversity visa lottery which awards permanent legal resident in the United States.

However, these details meant very little for the immigration judge reviewing his citizenship application in 2016 after a background check revealed he’d been convicted in absentia by a Romanian court for insurance fraud. Alina Rogozan, Tamas’s wife, believes the fraud charge is a result of a friend’s decision to use his name to make fake claims to an insurance provider.

Tamas’s attorney, Mario Urizar, is appealing the U.S. court’s decision, requesting I.C.E. allow for the chauffeur’s temporary release while the case travels through the judiciary system. Tama’s has a wife and two children- an 11-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter, who suffers from congenital heart disease- none of whom he’s seen since his incarceration in August.

“Zoltan wasn’t caught crossing the border. 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,” Urizar said.

The Tamas family has been struggling since the father’s arrest and fear the prolonged detention may lead to a final deportation. Without his support, the family will be unable to afford medical insurance and Tamas’s daughter’s health is sure to suffer.

“It would be signing her death sentence to return to Romania. That is why we are fighting,” Rogozan told the Times, adding that if her husband is deported, she will follow.

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