Deported California Army veteran in Tijuana will soon be granted U.S. citizenship

Hector Barajas, a deported U.S. Army veteran from Los Angeles, will soon be coming home.

Barajas, in tears Thursday, announced in a Facebook video he was going to be granted U.S. citizenship.

“I’m coming home, ma!” Barajas said from Tijuana.

He got the news in what’s known as the “Bunker,” the headquarters of the Deported Veterans Support House he established in Tijuana for veterans like him. He will be sworn in as a citizen April 13, he said.

Barajas, who was born in Mexico and lived in Compton, was deported in 2004 after he spent time in prison for shooting at a vehicle. He came back to the U.S. and was again deported in 2010 after being pulled over in a traffic stop. Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned him in 2016.

He has been living in Tijuana where in 2013 he founded the support house that provides shelter for deported veterans and helps them apply for benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His organization advocates for legislation prohibiting the deportation of U.S. veterans, but, while the issue persists, it seeks to improve the well-being of veterans not only in Tijuana but in other countries where they are deported.

“I’m not stopping for any of you guys,” Barajas said in the video. “You guys know my commitment.”

Barajas became a lawful permanent U.S. resident as a teenager in 1992. He enlisted in the Army after high school and served in the 82nd Airborne Division.

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Source: Mercury News


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