Ex-Trump Family Driver Is Behind Bars. Guess Why

Zoltan Tamas was detained by ICE on immigration charges
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2019 4:25 PM CDT
ICE Detains Former Trump Family Driver
Security personnel prepare for Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to step out of her vehicle before she tours Middletown Tube Works, a welded steel tube supplier, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Middletown, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Not long ago, he was picking up Donald Trump's children at the airport. Now he's behind bars—and Zoltan Tamas' arrest is part of an immigration crackdown that's been hailed by the Trump administration, the New York Times reports. "Zoltan wasn't caught crossing the border," says his lawyer, Mario Urizar. "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." But the green-card holder was collared in 2018 after applying for US citizenship, when immigration authorities found he had been convicted in absentia of insurance fraud in his home country of Romania.

Tamas began working at Mar-a-Lago on an H-2B visa in 2006. Moving up to security guard and adding a second job as driver, he would apparently pick up the younger Trumps and even has their phone numbers. Tamas, 38, also has an 11-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter with congenital heart disease that has cost the family tens of thousands of dollars in surgeries. Now the Florida resident's wife is struggling to keep the family afloat; she also claims the fraud case is about a Tamas friend who used his name on phony claims. And Urizar says Romania isn't seeking extradition. "I think this is probably something that ICE took a little too far," he tells CNN. Now Urizar hopes the Times report will stir up support from the Trump family. (More immigration stories.)

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