ACLU Report Documents Struggle Of Deported Veterans

By Marissa Cabrera, Jean Guerrero, Alison St John   Enrique Salas, who served four years in the Marines and was eligible for citizenship, was deported to Mexico about a decade ago. His mistake? After his brother was killed in a military training accident, Salas began to use drugs. He served a six-month sentence for possession of a controlled substance. In 2006, his criminal record led to his deportation. Salas is one of 84 foreign-born veterans featured in a report by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, “Discharged, then Discarded.” They were either deported or are facing deportation. In Mexico, they face threats from drug cartels seeking to recruit them because of their military expertise. The ACLU is calling for new laws that would allow these veterans to return to the U.S. and make it easier for immigrants in the armed forces to become citizens. The report accuses the federal government of failing to provide “clear and accurate information” to foreign-born veterans about their naturalization eligibility. Continue reading