U.S. Marine Veteran Who Fought In Iraq Faces Imminent Deportation
Jose Segovia Benitez, an honorably discharged veteran from Long Beach, faces imminent deportation to El Salvador, the country he left when he was 3 years old, according to The Orange County Register.
Although Segovia served in the military for five years, he suffered a brain injury and developed post-traumatic stress disorder, leading him to commit several felonies. He served time in prison for drug and domestic violence offenses and was picked up by immigration agents in January 2018 after he completed his last prison term.
His supporters filed a 522-page application seeking a pardon for him from California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Segovia’s case is one of many involving immigrant veterans’ deportation following their military service. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus put the number close to 3,000 in 2017.
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-San Pedro) said through a spokesman that her office “has been in contact with the Governor’s office regarding his family’s request for a pardon.”
“Veterans who serve our country honorably should receive fastrack to citizenship and those in combat, should receive automatic citizenship,” Barragán wrote in an email.
Segovia was brought to the U.S. as a child and had filed for citizenship while he was serving in the Marines, yet the government close the application. Segovia’s attorney, Wayne Spindler, believes that he was scheduled for an interview, the last step of the process before the naturalization ceremony, but he didn’t make it there.