Fifteen years ago, a former Marine was deported to Mexico after being convicted for a minor crime. Over the years, he never gave up in his fight to return to the United States. Now, he will be allowed to return to his home in Iowa to be with his family.
His ordeal began in 1998, after being convicted of a crime under tenuous circumstances. The Marine was charged with animal cruelty after being accused of beating a dog. Although he has always maintained his innocence, he was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. After being released within 15 months for good behavior, the man was deported to his native Mexico.
He lived in Tijuana for 15 years. Because his parents had brought him to the United States as a baby, he spoke no Spanish. His wife and two young sons moved to be with him, but eventually moved back to the United States when faced with Tijuana’s high crime rates and lower-quality schools. After that, he was able to see his family only when they could travel to visit him.
All of this changed when California Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned the ex-Marine for his past criminal conviction. An immigration judge ruled last month that he will be allowed to return to the United States. With the assistance of his lawyers, the pardoned immigrant intends to move to California and then relocate to Iowa to be with his wife and now-adult sons.
This case shows that there is hope for other foreign nationals in the United States to succeed in their cases and remain in the country. It also shows that with the help of immigration attorneys, it is possible for immigrants who have been deported to return to the United States.