April 15, 2017 (SACRAMENTO) Governor Edmund Brown has pardoned 3 United States Military immigrant veterans who were later deported. These are Hector Barajas, who served as a United States paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne during Desert Storm. Barajas had issues adapting to civilian life, like many other veterans, after discharge. He developed a substance abuse problem, and was in a car when a weapon was discharged.
After two years in prison, he was deported to Mexico by Immigration services, where he has run a shelter for deported veterans called the bunker. Through his service he has been critical in the lives of hundreds of fellow deported veterans.
Erasmo Apodaca served in the United States Marines during Desert Storm. When he came hone he was convicted of burglary afterbreaking in into his girlfriend’s home. While in prison he served in one of the many CAL-FIRE camps fighting fires during the year he was in prison. He was released for good behavior. He grew up in Calexico and currently lives in Mexicali. He wants to become a citizen
Marco Antonio Chavez Medina served in the Marines. After his discharged he was convicted of animal abuse. An immigration judge decided that was an aggravated felony and had him deported to a country he had not known. Chavez was brought to the United States st one year of age.
His wife found life in Mexico difficult and in the end she moved with their two children to Iowa.
Here is a link to the list.
Former Assembly Member, and Marine Corp combat veteran, and chair of Honorably Discharged, Dishonorable Deported said in a press release:
HDDD Chair and Marine Corps combat veteran Nathan Fletcher said: “Governor Brown today has shown compassion for California veterans and their families, and taken bold action that highlights the plight of deported veterans. These veterans sacrificed to defend their country and were promised full citizenship as part of their military service – they never should have been deported. Governor Brown’s historic pardons give hope to hundreds of deported veterans still fighting to return to the nation they honorably served.”
A full pardon should allow the three men to apply for citizenship and eventually come to the United States.
Hector Barajas, a former paratrooper who served with the 82nd Airborne Division and was granted a pardon, said, “There are no words to describe the joy I feel today. I thank God for the grace of Governor Jerry Brown and am eternally grateful to all of those who advocated on my behalf. I have dreamed everyday of returning to the country I love. We have taken a big step forward for deported veterans and their families.”
Nathan Fletcher added,“This is a significant step forward in our efforts and has the potential to make a life-changing difference for these veterans. However, the sad reality is there are hundreds, possibly thousands of others waiting for help. We are renewing our call on Congress and the President to honor its commitment and ensure every soldier comes home.”