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U.S. Army veteran fights against deportation

Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly is seeking to deport a former U.S Army medic. The veteran originally came to the United States illegally as a teen roughly 30 years ago from Trinidad. He worked in Florida orange fields as a young man and later received a temporary green card through an amnesty program.

In 1991, the young man joined the United States Army in the hopes of becoming a U.S. citizen. He was honorably discharged in 1999 and has sought permanent residency since that time. The veteran is scheduled to appear later this month in a removal hearing in an Immigration Court.

The veteran served the U.S. Army for eight years. He did tours of duty as an Army medic in Italy, Germany and Kosovo. He reportedly suffers back spasms to this date related to his military service. The veteran takes medications for his back trouble. He says as an Army medic he "took care of a lot of fallen soldiers and now I can't take care of myself or my family."

The veteran's wife says that the couple has been in the United States for 30 years. She says "this is all he knows. He has never gotten into any trouble with the law. Never committed any crimes." The veteran is the father of two children who are American citizens.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking to deport the veteran because he served the U.S. Army during peacetime. Senator Charles Schumer (D.-NY) reportedly is looking into the matter. The veteran will take his case before a U.S. Immigration judge later this month.

Source: WABC 7Online, "Military veteran fighting deportation," Carolina Leid and Jennifer Matarese 9 Mar 2011

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