After fighting in Afghanistan, former U.S. Army soldier Mauricio Hernandez Mata returned home with post-traumatic stress, which he says eventually led to getting in trouble with the law and being deported to Mexico — a country he had not lived in since he was a boy.
On Wednesday, he and another deported veteran were sworn in as U.S. citizens at a special naturalization ceremony in San Diego, AP reports.
The two veterans were among 65 who have been allowed back into the United States over the past year ago as part of a growing effort by the Biden administration called the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative to make amends with immigrants who served in the U.S. military only to wind up deported.
Hundreds of U.S. military veterans, including some who were charged with crimes such as drunk driving or theft, have been deported over the years in what immigration advocates and others have called an unfair punishment to those who took up arms in the name of the United States. Many are still struggling to find legal help to return, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
© Copyright LaPresse