U.S. military veterans deported to Mexico say they want to come back home

By Sandra Dibble, LA Times Deported U.S. military veterans told members of a U.S. congressional delegation visiting Tijuana on Saturday that they had paid dearly for their crimes and wanted to come home. “I committed a crime and I accept it,” said Eduardo Agustin Garcia, 59, a former U.S. Navy airman who grew up in Oxnard but was deported to Mexico in 1999 after serving a four-year sentence on a drug charge. Garcia, who now works in a call center in Tijuana, was among a dozen deported veterans who spoke briefly to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, all Democrats on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The deported veterans — some of whom served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan — told of the pride they had felt in the U.S. armed services. They talked about how they missed their families in the United States and needed access to Veterans Affairs services. “I just want to go home,” they repeatedly said.       Continue reading

They served in the U.S. military and hoped for citizenship. Then they got deported.

By Roxana Popescu, Washington Post   TIJUANA, MEXICO — Rep. Juan Vargas, a California Democrat whose district runs the length of the state’s border with Mexico, introduced a set of bills last fall aimed at helping U.S. military veterans who were deported after they were convicted of crimes. The bills stalled, casualties of what he called bad timing during the presidential campaign. Vargas reintroduced the bills last week, because now he sees “a real opportunity.” He and six other Democratic members of Congress spent Saturday in this Mexican border town visiting deported veterans to press the issue, thinking that President Trump might be receptive to the argument that they are veterans first and deportees second. Continue reading

Deported veterans meet with members of Congress

By Richard Allyn, Reporter Connect By Heather Hope Connect SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) -  Members of Congress headed South of the Border Saturday to meet with military veterans who despite their service to the country - were deported.  Those veterans are lobbying for support for federal legislation to help them get back to the United States and back on their feet.  Hector Barajas served nearly six years in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division before he was honorably discharged. In 2004, he was deported to Mexico after serving a prison sentence for firing a gun inside his car.  Barajas is now fighting for all veterans in his position - to re-enter the country they consider home.    Continue reading