A Mexican-born veteran of the US Marines is being allowed to return to the USA after he was deported for animal cruelty fifteen years ago.
Marco Chavez and two other deported veterans were pardoned by California Governor Jerry Brown, thanks to the help of the San Diego-based group known as the Honorably Discharged, Dishonorably Deported Coalition, a group that helps obtain permanent resident status for deported non-citizens who served in the US military.
According to coalition chairman Nation Fletcher, Chavez’s green card status was restored earlier this month.
“No one who was willing to die for this country should be deported,” Fletcher said. “In a time when the immigration debate in America seems so dark, Marco Chavez’s historic legal victory and return home is a ray of light and hope.”
Chavez will soon return to Los Angeles, where he grew up as an illegal immigrant before joining the US Marines as a lawful permanent resident at age 19.
In 1998, however, Chavez committed acts of animal cruelty, which landed him ten months in prison and a deportation four years after his release.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, his wife -an American who did not speak Spanish- and three sons originally accompanied him to Tijuana but eventually left for Iowa.
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