Hector Barajas will return home
The struggle of this veteran has finally come to an end after the governor of California granted him the pardon and allowed him to return home to obtain his citizenship.
April 13 will be an unforgettable day for Hector Barajas, a 40-year-old immigrant, a veteran of the army and now an activist leader for the rights of deported veterans, who will finally be able to have his own naturalization ceremony after 14 years of struggle.
According to Associated Press, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, pardoned Barajas after he was found guilty in 2002 for firing a firearm at an occupied vehicle.
"Barajas came to the United States from Mexico when he was 7 years old," AP continues. "After graduating from high school, he served in the US Army between 1995 and 2001, when he was honorably discharged" and with several acknowledgments for his outstanding performance.
At the end of his two-year sentence, he was deported to Mexico in 2004 "lacking fluency in Spanish," according to his legal claim for his right to citizenship.
He returned to the United States and was again deported in 2010 when the police arrested him for a traffic infraction.
During his time in Tijuana, Barajas worked directly with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), founding a medical assistance clinic for deported veterans who, like him, needed financial assistance, psychological evaluation, and even work and legal support, according to NBC Chicago.
But Barajas and his lawyers never gave up their fight for his right to live in the United States and, thanks to Governor Brown's pardon last December, this veteran will finally be able to return home.
"Finally, after years of fighting for the rights of deported veterans to return to the United States, Hector will be able to return home as an American citizen," said Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrant rights for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and one of Barajas' lawyers.
As explained by the ACLU, Barajas is the second veteran pardoned by Governor Brown and is part of the nearly 230 who have been deported.