Despite making great sacrifices for our country, former U.S. service members can still face deportation. In an interesting recent case, one former Marine regained his permanent residency and will now reunite with his family.
After his deportation to Mexico 15 years ago, a November court ruling will allow the man to return to the U.S. The 45-year-old plans to reunite with his children, all of whom are now near or at adult age.
The former marine was convicted of a minor offense in 1998, and was sentenced to two years in a California prison. He was released after 15 months because of good behavior. A federal judge, however, used his conviction as grounds for deportation.
The man had come to the U.S. with his parents as a baby. When he turned 19, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for four years before receiving an honorable discharge. After his deportation, he assumed residence in Tijuana, where he had to learn a new language and find work. The man’s wife and children joined him for a time in Mexico, but they soon returned to the U.S. for a better quality of life.
An organization that assists deported combat veterans lobbied for the man. Eventually, California Gov. Jerry Brown caught wind of the case and issued him a pardon earlier this year. That remission laid the groundwork for the man to regain permanent residency.
Deported veterans number in the hundreds and very few have been able to successfully return. This former Marine’s story could give hope to other deported service members. Veterans who are encountering immigration issues may benefit from professional legal advice, as these matters can be particularly complex.
Source:ABC News, “Deported ex-Marine speechless after return to U.S.,” Julie Watson, Dec. 21, 2017