NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A couple who came to New Jersey from Mexico 30 years ago have been deported, leaving their three children behind.
Oscar and Humberta Campos lived in Bridgeton, New Jersey, and own a landscaping company. They said goodbye to their children Friday morning at Newark's airport before boarding a flight to Mexico City. The children, ages 16, 22 and 24, are all American citizens.
"There is no distance. I will always have them in my heart," Oscar Campos told WCAU-TV.
Campos said he fled violence in his hometown, Tamaulipas, and crossed the border into Texas in 1989.
WCAU-TV reports that after a lengthy effort to obtain work visas, the couple were ordered by immigration officials to leave the country.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tried to help the family stay in the U.S. He says he's "extremely disappointed" their stay of removal was denied.
"Mr. and Mrs. Campos' case reinforces the urgent need for us to stand united in seeking common sense solutions to our broken immigration system that are consistent with our core American principles," he said in a statement.
Just before the couple left, Oscar Campos gave his children some parting advice.
"Fight for your dreams, because life continues and you will always find good people that support you," he said. "There are a lot of good people. Don't give your hopes up."
A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed Sen. Cory Booker's quote to Oscar Campos.