Congressman fights for deported veterans

Local News
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One U.S. Marine Veteran has hope in the current administration as Congressman Vicente Gonzalez sent a letter to President Trump urging him to honor his promise of protecting deported veterans. 

One U.S. Marine Veteran has hope in the current administration as Congressman Vicente Gonzalez sent a letter to President Trump urging him to honor his promise of protecting deported veterans.

Jose Maria Martinez, who was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. legally, served in the Marine Corps for seven years. However, he committed a drug crime after being honorably discharged from the armed services.

“I was caught with marijuana at the checkpoint in Sarita and I was given five years,” said Martinez.

The arrest didn’t only result in a prison sentence, but Martinez was also deported.

“If I did my five years and paid my debt to society, then why I am doing that a second time?” asked Martinez. “That’s not the end of it: I lost all my VA rights and Social Security, so I’ve been punished for one crime and that’s the only unfairness that I see about everything else.”

The Vietnam War Veteran has been living in Nuevo Progresso for 16 years, where he runs a telephone shop. In those years, Martinez has become concerned about the city increasing violence and lives under constant fear of fire fights.

It is cases like this that U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) is working to stop happening.

“This is something that has been going on for decades and I think this needs to stop and we need to find a pathway to bring our heroes home,” said Gonzalez.

Although Jose has a surviving business, he said that he could use assistance from the U.S. government.

“Let’s per se they don’t give me my citizenship,” said Martinez. “Give me what’s mine, give me what I earned, social security [and] VA rights.”

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