George Ybarra is a decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He served in the Persian Gulf War, and now has PTSD. This led to drug abuse issues and criminal convictions. However, despite that a federal judge has already ruled that Ybarra is a U.S. Citizen, the veteran was sent to an immigration detention facility in Elroy, AZ, and faces deportation.
Ybarra spent over a decade cycling through the corrections system, and has been sent to an immigration detention center before. While he does have convictions, including firing a rifle in the direction of police, his PTSD, and the drug abuse issues that his illness may have caused, shows that Ybarra needs help, not deportation.
Ybarra is not an immigrant, though. “Not only is George Ybarra a third-generation American,” said Luis Parra, Ybarra’s attorney, “but he’s also a decorated war veteran. And ICE will not give up trying to deport him.” According to Parra, ICE has been targeting “derivative” citizenship, which makes the children of naturalized parents American citizens, under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
While Parra represents many clients with derivative citizenship, “George is the only veteran I know of, because of his criminal history — the only person who volunteered to serve his country — who has had to fight for (derivative citizenship),” Parra said.
President Trump claims that he supports veterans, but he also wants ICE to be more aggressive in deportations. Ybarra puts Trump’s policies into a catch-22. Does he help the American Marine, or does he deport him because, though he is still an American citizen, he was born in Mexico?
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