WASHINGTON POST: "DEPORTED VETERANS: BANISHED FOR COMMITTING CRIMES AFTER SERVING IN THE U.S. MILITARY"

by Joseph McKeown


The Washington Post has an illuminating article on the fate of Milton Tepeyac, a US veteran and greencard holder who committed a felony and was subsequently deported to Mexico, where he hadn't lived since he was three. Mr. Tepeyac, who served eight years as a U.S. Marine, now lives in Hermosillo, Mexico and works at a call center for $3 an hour. "'It was a stupid thing to do,' Tepeyac, 37, said of his crime. 'I feel like I’m stuck in a perpetual nightmare. I can’t seem to adjust to this life. In the Marines, we have a motto that we never leave a man behind. I feel like I’ve been left behind.'" Although Mr. Tepeyac was eligible to apply for citizenship, he never did so, mistakenly believing he automatically became a citizen once he swore the Marine Corps Oath. The article notes that his lawyer, Craig Shagin, believes Tepeyac’s best chance is if comprehensive immigration reform allows deported veterans to return to the US, or a lawmaker introduces a “private bill” specifically for Tepeyac, reversing his deportation. Neither, however, seem likely. The article notes: "Although deported veterans are banned for life, they are welcome to return when they are dead."

[read: "Deported veterans: Banished for committing crimes after serving in the U.S. military"]